Category Archives: Getting Started

Don’t Go to College if You Can’t Afford It!

dont go to college

I will warn you, this post may come across as somewhat of a rant. Ok, to be honest, it is entirely a rant. However, I am passionate about this subject, and hopefully you won’t skewer me for letting you know what I truly feel. This post is somewhat of a follow-up of my post last week about the recent law introduced in Michigan to give out free college tuition.

One of the biggest problems in our country today is the fact that so many people feel entitled. They may feel entitled to a bigger house, a brand new car, a vacation twice per year, a wife, a family, a good paying job, and a college education. I work with students every day who have one goal in mind: graduate from college. They will do whatever it takes to reach this goal. That might mean sacrificing 6 years of their life in pursuit of the degree, taking out more student loans than they could ever repay in a lifetime, or it could even mean endangering their health with binge drinking or lack of sleep while in college.

Some of the most financially unhealthy people I have ever met live on college campuses. The vast majority of these students have a lot of debt and ZERO income. Student loans are structured so students can borrow the funds they need to graduate with the intent that they can then get a job and begin to repay those loans. But what if that job does not happen? Or possibly even worse, what if reality slaps them in the face and they realize that a college degree does not guarantee a cushy office job with a corner window and a fat salary?

Every day I speak with parents and students who are struggling to make ends meet. This may be because the parents lost their job and can no longer pay for their child’s education, because the student’s GPA slipped and they lost an important scholarship, or it might be because a graduate student lost the funding for his graduate assistantship and now his tuition has skyrocketed. All of these situations can be heartbreaking, but in the end my question continues to be: should you go to college if you cannot afford it?

There are many people in both sides of the “go to college at all costs” camps. Some agree, and some reject that train of thought. Whatever stance you take, I don’t think you can deny the fact that many students are obtaining their college degrees only AFTER they have put either themselves or their parents in a precarious financial state. Is it worth it?

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My Family Financial Fitness Day

financial ftness day

This past Saturday was my annual Financial Fitness Day.

I started doing this a few years ago on a recommendation from a family friend who said that he had been doing this for the last 30 years. The concept makes perfect sense to me: a day set aside for nothing but taking care of updating, rebalancing, changing, analyzing all of your financial data and positions.

The finances of one family can become very complicated very quickly. When you factor in insurance, mortgage (or rent) payments, retirement, savings, utility bills, college savings, and taxes, it quickly becomes apparent that you could use a virtual assistant to help you keep track of your finances.

Rather than hiring someone else to handle my finances for my family, I take one day out of the year where I completely devote myself to optimizing our finances. My wife is happy to let me go for one day to focus 100% on getting our finances in order for the next year. Here are a few things that I was able to accomplish in the most recent addition of my finncial fitness day.

Researching Our Insurance Premiums

We pay a lot of money in insurance every year. We pay insurance on our cars, on our home (we used to even pay insurance on our mortgage, but thankfully that is done), on ourselves, on our life, on our business liability and equipment, and even a special jewelry policy for my wife’s engagement ring.

My task with all of the various insurance policies that we have is to research quotes and compare coverages for every policy. This ensures that we are getting the most coverage for the best price. In some areas, we are willing to pay less of a premium for less coverage 9pr a higher deductible) and in other instances, we need to pay a higher premium and have a lower deductible.

The main change that I made this year is to research how our health insurance will change when we bring our adopted child home. I had to contact my insurance provider to ensure I understood the process for adding a child to our policy, and to ensure that I completed the forms within their deadlines to ensure our baby’s medical bills were covered in the hospital.

That was the only major change in insurance that I made this year.

Rebalancing Our Portfolio

This task this year was fun. In the past, this has not been so fun. Reason being? It’s no fun to rebalance a portfolio when that portfolio lost money. This year however, we managed a 9$ increase over the previous year. Our retirement portfolio is roughly 70% in a 2055 target date index fund, and 30% in a small cap business fund. The small cap fund had growth of about 18% this past year, so I took a portion of those funds and moved them over to the target date fund to get back down to our 70% – 30% split.

Rebalancing does not have to be difficult. We have used index funds for years now, and I have enjoyed their ease of use, and their low cost. I highly recommend them.

Updating my Credit Card on Auto-Billpay

My credit card expired in February, and I had to go through and update every auto-billpay account that I use to ensure that all of the payments went through. All but 2 of our monthly bills route through our credit card so this makes it very easy to pay bills every month, but quite a headache to update the credit card on every account. This took me about 3 hours, since I had to remember the login and password for every single bill (and most of them had expired!!).

Projected Taxes for 2012

The last major task that I accomplished in my family financial fitness day was to project our taxes for 2012. We just received our taxes back from our CPA for 2011, and I needed to evaluate what changes we could make this year to lower the amount of taxes we paid. This was the first year we had a business (my wife’s photography business) so our taxes were a bit more complicated than usual.

I also worked on updating our profit and loss statement for our business and our expense report for our business tax purposes. Making this a priority now will help us be much more organized come tax time again next year.

Do you have a family financial fitness day?

What tasks do you accomplish on a day like this ?

Photo Credit

Money for College Project Weekly Roundup: Adoption Homestudy Edition

The past few days have seen a hurricane go through our house.

That hurricane was my wife, who was deep cleaning our house to get ready for our adoption homestudy visit from our adoption case worker. While I was working on getting our yard in shape after the winter months, and pressure washing the siding, she was busy inside scrubbing the floors and dusting under every possible nook and cranny. She’s awesome, and our house has NEVER looked so clean. We know that we won’t be turned down for our adoption if our house is not in perfectly clean condition, but you can’t help to be overly sensitive to dirt when someone is coming to “inspect” your home.

Our homestudy visit was last night, we think it went really well, and we are looking forward to relaxing a bit this weekend after the physical and emotional roller coaster of the past week. I say all of that to say, that is why I only posted two articles this week. It has been a trying week, but I am looking to it as training for when we do bring our new baby home and are woken up every few hours for feedings. Not sure that I am quire ready for that yet…

I’ll get there, I know. While I slip off to some sleepy goodness, please enjoy the best of Money for College project and Yakezie from this past week!

Money for College Project

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/27/top-23-gifts-for-college-students/” color=”red”] 23 Gifts for College Students[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/28/scholarship-of-the-day-big-dig-scholarship/” color=”red”] Big Dig Scholarship[/button]

 

 

 

Yakezie Friends

 

[button link=”http://sustainablelifeblog.com/2012/03/02/weddings/” color=”green”] Sustainable Life – Save on Weddings[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.stocktrendinvesting.com/blog/what-stock-trend-investing-20-simple-sentences” color=”green”] Stock Trend Investing – What is Stock Trend?[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.pennypinchingprofessional.com/2012/02/drowning-in-sea-of-thesis-edits.html” color=”green”] Penny Pinching Pro – Thesis Edits[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.fiscalphoenix.com/market-captalization-large-small-mid-cap/” color=”green”]Fiscal Phoenix –  Market Cap[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/2012/02/29/frugality-is-exactly-what-the-economy-needs/” color=”green”] Mighty Bargain Hunter  – Frugality Is What We Need[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://moneycactus.com/how-to-use-twitter-to-improve-your-finances/” color=”green”] Money Cactus – Twitter Improves Finances[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.roshawnwatson.com/10-reasons-to-seek-abundance/” color=”green”] Roshawn Watson – Seek Abundance[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://brokeprofessionals.com/2012/03/01/spring-break/” color=”green”] Broke Professionals – Spring Break[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://erinshanendoah.com/dogatemywallet/?p=452” color=”green”] Dog Ate my Wallet – Assets???[/button]

 

 

Money for College Project Weekly Roundup: Norovirus Edition

So this past week has been fun (read: one of the most painful weeks of my life…)

Not sure how or from where, but I managed to contract the Norovirus. From the Center for Disease Control:

[box] Noroviruses (genus Norovirus, family Caliciviridae) are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, non-enveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. The most common symptoms of acute gastroenteritis are diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Norovirus is the official genus name for the group of viruses previously described as “Norwalk-like viruses” (NLV). Noroviruses spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Norovirus is recognized as the leading cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Outbreaks can happen to people of all ages and in a variety of settings. Read more about it using the following links.[/box]

This lovely little virus had me in the bathroom for 5 days straight. No food, no water, no sanity.

It has not been a pleasant experience, and I don’t wish it upon anyone.

Thankfully, I do feel much better today, and am well enough to start working on my pile of email and writing more blog posts. It’ weeks like this where I am very thankful to have had a few posts already written and tucked away for safe keeping.

On a happier note, here is what went on at Money for College Project and Yakezie this week!

Money for College Project

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/22/financial-aid-for-older-students/” color=”red”] Financial Aid Older Students[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/23/5-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-college/” color=”red”] Make Extra Money for College[/button]

 

 

 

Yakezie Friends

 

[button link=”http://sustainablelifeblog.com/2012/02/22/tenets-of-sustainability-series/” color=”green”] Sustainable Life – Tenets of Sustainability[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.stocktrendinvesting.com/blog/what-stock-trend-investing-20-simple-sentences” color=”green”] Stock Trend Investing – What is Stock Trend?[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.pennypinchingprofessional.com/2012/02/drowning-in-sea-of-thesis-edits.html” color=”green”] Penny Pinching Pro – Thesis Edits[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.fiscalphoenix.com/dollar-cost-averaging-and-long-term-investing/” color=”green”]Fiscal Phoenix –  Long Term Investing[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/2012/02/16/the-joy-and-relief-of-giving-things-away/” color=”green”] Mighty Bargain Hunter  – Giving Things Away[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://moneycactus.com/rewarding-your-diy-efforts/” color=”green”] Money Cactus – Rewarding Your DIY Efforts[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.roshawnwatson.com/2012/02/how-to-see-bright-financial-future.html” color=”green”] Roshawn Watson – Bright Financial Future[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://brokeprofessionals.com/2012/02/22/i-hate-tax-prep-time/” color=”green”] Broke Professionals – Tax Prep Time[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://erinshanendoah.com/dogatemywallet/?p=426″ color=”green”] Dog Ate my Wallet – Forced to Use Comcast[/button]

 

 

Applying For Your First Loan After College

Graduating from college can seem like an insurmountable milestone. 4 years (ok, maybe 5 or 6 years) of toiling through classes, exams, homework, presentations, and late night study sessions can make a normal person go insane. Thankfully, there is a point where this will all end, and your real life can begin…

For those of us who have graduated from college and have gone on into the “real world” we don’t exactly view our college experience in that light. Rather than a never ending barrage of classes, homework, finals, and papers; we see freedom, no responsibility, and a carefree, do whatever you want, lifestyle that we may likely envy for the rest of our lives.

That is because when you graduate from college and “grow up” it’s time to get a real job, begin paying your own bills, and figure out how to support yourself in whatever you want to do with your life.

Applying for Your First Loan

One of the scariest things you will have to do after you graduate and branch out on your own is to apply for your first loan. This loan may be for your first car to make your daily commute into work, it might be a personal loan to get some seed money to start a business, it could even be to buy your first home (although, I would not recommend doing this right after college). The application process for your first loan can be confusing and complicated. That is why it can be a good idea to research online personal loans before going to a brick and mortar bank. You can compare rates, see how much you can qualify for, learn about the process, and view a copy of your credit report.

This information will be invaluable to you as you go through the process and begin to contact other lenders and other banks about your need for a loan.

If you are trying to get a loan to buy your first car, you may be surprised to find out that your credit score could be a barrier in your getting approved for a loan. If you are buying a new car, the dealership will likely try to find a loan for you from the dealers that they routinely work with. If you are buying a used car, I highly recommend to consult with a credit union or bank to get pre-approved for your loan before stepping foot on the used car lot. This will give you an idea of what your budget is, and will help you in the negotiation process.

If you don’t have a clue what your credit score is, or you already know it is bad, there are many ways that you can help to restore that credit score. This cannot be done in a few days however, so it is often a good idea to check out no credit check loans  to see what you might qualify for without using your actual credit score. Often times, you can get a decent interest rate on a secured loan without the hassle of hearing that your credit is terrible.

These are just a few tips that might help you in the application process for your first loan. As always, the best way to make this process easier is to manage your credit while in college, and to make smart money decisions before, during and after college. This firm foundation will pay off big dividends in your future.

5 Ways to Make Extra Money for College

make extra money

Whether you are a parent saving for college, or a student struggling to pay for college, we can all use a few ideas on ways to make some extra money. Many of you reading this blog, moonlight as something other than your normal 9-5. This means that you have already taken a strong step towards earning extra money. In my experience, once you have taken this initial step, the rest are much easier to come by.

So you have the ambition, you know there is a need, but where do you start?

If you are a current college student is it in your best interest to sign on as a pizza delivery boy, or go try your bartending skills at the local pub?

If you are a parent saving money for college, is it in your best interest to find a local part-time job paying minimum wage?

I would say an emphatic NO, to both suggestions. I want to lay out 5 concrete ways that you can begin to make extra money without the hassle of interviewing and working the graveyard shift for $7.25 per hour (or less…).

Textbroker

I have written before about my experiences with using Textbroker. I was able to earn over $5000 in 2011 (I know because I just got the 1099) using their online article writing service.

Creating an account is simple and straightforward. you signup, and then write a sample 400 word article. Textbroker then rates this first article from 1 – 5. Based on this rating, you can begin to claim and write articles. The articles you write are graded 1 – 5, with 1 being the easiest and therefore the least profitable, and 5 being professional and the most profitable.

My rating was routinely a 3, but I found that this allowed me to be the most profitable with my time. I was eventually able to write a 400 word article in about 7 minutes, which at 1 cent per word, left me with about $32 per hour. Not bad for part-time work.

CashCrate

CashCrate is an online service that allows you to earn money by completing offers, surveys, and the infrequent game. I experimented with this service over a year ago, and quickly realized that I hated completing surveys and offers, and that my time was much more valuable.

However, I then found out about CashCrate’s referral program. Here is a quick explanation:

[box] The referral program has two levels. You get paid 20% of what your referrals make and 10% of what THEIR referrals make. As you refer more users to CashCrate, these levels increase until you’re earning as much as 30% of your referral’s earnings and 20% of their referral’s earnings. Plus, get extra cash bonuses along the way! [/box]

This is my kind of passive income! yes, it could be viewed as a multi-level marketing program, but it’s better because you don’t have to host scammy sounding product parties!

You could email all of your friends with your referral link, and sit back and watch the cash roll in from their activities online and their referrals!

SwagBucks

I’m new to SwagBucks, but I know that it has been around for a long time and many people use it to successfully score giftcards and other big discounts.

Swagbucks is basically a search engine. The easiest way to earn point is to install the swagbucks search engine and to use that for your normal online activities. This will earn you Swagbucks virtually everytime you sit down at your computer to complete a task. You won’t earn a great per hour rate, but it’s basically free money that you can earn for doing something that the majority of us do everyday anyway.

Sell on Ebay

I’ve been selling on Ebay for years, and it has always been a great side gig that I could do from the comfort of my own home. Ebay experts estimate that every one of us has between $500 – $1000 of sellable items within our homes that we can easily part with. All you have to do is find these items, list them on Ebay, enjoy the auction process, and then package them up and deliver to the Post Office.

Some items that I have sold on Ebay in the past are vintage castle legos, bullova swiss watch, rare las vegas coins, playstation games, used books, model ship clock, Boyd bears, and even baseball cards.

I could almost guarantee that you can think of 10 items that can easily be placed on sale through Ebay. * My best piece of advice?  Take professional pictures and give a detailed description and you will notice a much better result for your efforts.

Cash4Books.Net

My final idea is one of my favorite. I am a bibliophile. I love books. It’s an obsession. It’s almost sad.

However, I have been able to turn my passion for books into a profitable hobby. I enjoy going to yard sales and to auctions and buying old cases of books. What I have then been able to do is turn these old books into a profit through Cash4Books.net.

The one thing that allowed me to be profitable at this was when they introduced the mobile app. Now I can scan any book I see at a yard sale with my iPhone, and instantly know what I can sell it for on cash4books.net. If I can make a profit of at least $1, it is worth my time.

The key here is to work in quantity. $1 profit per book might not sound like a lot but if you can get 100 or more every week, or increase your profit margins, then you can turn this into a serious side gig.

What side gig ideas do you have to make extra money for college?

Money for College Project Weekly Roundup: Frank Sinatra and Audrey Hepburn

For Valentine’s Day, I rented some classic movies for my wife. This is one of our favorite things to do together, and I can rent them for free from our local library so it does not cost me a thing. I rented High Society starring Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and we also watched Charade starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Both were excellent choices.

Watching classic movies always makes me reflect on how fleeting time is, and also on how much our world has changed in so little time. In just 50 years, the financial landscape of this country has radically changed, and the political climate has also turned on its end. I can’t imagine what it will be in another 50 years, when our children are watching “classic” movies and looking back on the world we currently live in.

What does this have to do with finance? Watching classic movies helps me evaluate my financial priorities and make sure that my investing and savings strategies are sound. That might sound a little crazy, but it’s true. They make me think about what I am doing to save for my retirement, and for my children’s college education. They make me think about getting older and what I will do when that happens. That might sound depressing, but I really enjoy it. I like to plan, so this is generally a natural progression for me.

Regardless of if you like classic movies or not, it is always a good idea to regularly evaluate your financial goals and the plan you have set in place to reach them.

Enjoy the selections for this week!

Money for College Project

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/13/2012-princeton-review-best-values-in-colleges/” color=”red”] Princeton Review Best College Value[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/13/scholarship-of-the-day-south-carolina-federal-credit-union/” color=”red”] SC Credit Union Scholarship[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/13/scholarship-of-the-day-south-carolina-federal-credit-union/” color=”red”] How Harvard Spends Tuition[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/14/scholarship-of-the-day-ge-reagan-foundation-scholarship/” color=”red”] GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/15/how-to-save-100000-for-your-childs-college-education/” color=”red”] How to Save $100,000[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/15/scholarship-of-the-day-discus-awards-college-scholarship/” color=”red”] Discus Awards College Scholarship[/button]

 

 

 

 

Yakezie Friends

 

[button link=”http://sustainablelifeblog.com/2012/02/15/trade-borrow-or-steal/” color=”green”] Sustainable Life – Trade Borrow or Steal[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.stocktrendinvesting.com/blog/risk-investing-your-company-stock” color=”green”] Stock Trend Investing – Risks of Company Stock[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.pennypinchingprofessional.com/2012/02/weekend-update.html” color=”green”] Penny Pinching Pro – Weekend Update[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.fiscalphoenix.com/diversification-to-reduce-risk/” color=”green”]Fiscal Phoenix –  Diversification[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/2012/02/16/the-joy-and-relief-of-giving-things-away/” color=”green”] Mighty Bargain Hunter  – Giving Things Away[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://moneycactus.com/how-to-bid-on-ebay/” color=”green”] Money Cactus – Ebay Buyers Guide[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.roshawnwatson.com/2012/02/how-to-see-bright-financial-future.html” color=”green”] Roshawn Watson – Bright Financial Future[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://brokeprofessionals.com/2012/02/15/the-10-a-week-difference/” color=”green”] Broke Professionals – $10 a Week Difference[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://erinshanendoah.com/dogatemywallet/?p=413″ color=”green”] Dog Ate my Wallet – Phone Saga[/button]

 

 

Can the Game “Second Life” Teach our Children Personal Finance?

second life finance

Second Life is a game that allows you to have exactly what the name suggests; a dual life.

Second Life is a virtual world which allows you to create an avatar for yourself, and then purchase, develop, and sell virtual property. Within the online game, users can socialize with other gamers from around the world, join in group activities or quests, and even buy and sell virtual property from one another. The currency used in Second Life is the Linden Dollar (L$).

The crazy thing about this game is that the L$ is actually purchased using real US Dollars or other real currency. This has allowed many residents of Second Life to turn a profit from their gaming and to learn real financial principles.

Second Life Predicted the Financial Collapse

Many experts were abuzz with the news a few years ago when one of the major banks within the world of Second Life, Ginko Financial, went belly up. The bank collapsed because it was essentially running a Ponzi Scheme. Ginko Financial was promising returns of up to 40% and at the time of insolvency, owed for than $2,000,000 L$ (US $750,000) to Second Life residents.  The crash of Ginko Financial happened in early 2007, which was right on the cusp of one of the greatest financial meltdowns in the United States history.

Can a virtual world really have predicted the future?

It seems a little crazy to me on the surface, however the people playing this game are the same people that were (are) running the world’s economy. The same decision making skills that were used to generate massive profits by promising outrageous returns sounds a lot like the Ponzi schemes, and mortgage lending practices of so many financial institutions in the last few years. These practices have been uncovered and the backlash has been swift. However, the damage is already done.

Second Life predicted this collapse in it’s virtual economy and we all should have paid much closer attention!

Second Life Can Teach Kids and Teens About Personal Finance

There has also been a movement recently of building games within Second life that help teach children and young adults solid personal finance skills. Ohio University and credit union industry leaders launched a game back in 2009 that teaches financial skills to young people.

Because of the “real life” aspects of this game, it was a natural progression to combine a virtual world with real financial principles.

Let’s face it, our children (and us) love to play video games. If we are successful in teaching the next generation solid financial skills through a medium that they know and can appreciate, then we will be much more successful. I think this is an awesome idea!

Second Life residents in the “Credit Union Island” game can sit through seminars and classes on finance skills, they can open up bank accounts, they can apply for credit, they can create a budget, and then they can actually spend their money on things in a pseudo economy.

The Credit Union industry is behind this development because of the vast potential for future growth. The idea even has possibilities in other areas of education such as math or science. Embracing technology in this area has created a unique way to reach our kids with personal finance wisdom.

How to Make US $1 Million in Second Life

Anshe Chung, or Ailin Graef, became the first person to have a net worth of over US $1 Million through their activities within Second Life. 

Anshe/Ailin made the majority of their money through buying vacant land, developing it, and then selling it for a profit. Anshe/Ailin has also made large profits by creating her own P2P lending system, owning several virtual shopping malls, several virtual store chains, and also by creating and selling several virtual brands. She also has made large investments in other virtual companies within Second Life.

Anshe now has her own studio where she and her team continue to develop virtual real estate and sell it more massive profit. She has taken real estate skills from the real world, transferred them to a virtual simulation, and has profited from it. I am fascinated by this story!

First, it is incredible that someone can actually make money from a game. Second, the fact that she has made a fortune from creating virtual goods is remarkable. That takes a lot of creativity and business savvy. She obviously recognized a need within the game, and found out a way to capitalize on her niche.

I have never played Second Life, and I don’t really have a burning desire to do so, but if there is real money to be made within the virtual realm it might be worth considering!

Have any of you ever played Second Life?

Will you let your children play and hope that they learn real-world financial principles?

The Facebook IPO – What It Means For You

facebook ipo

With over 600 million users, Facebook has become one of the most recognizable brands around the world. Facebook has changed the way that we interact with our friends, it has changed how we advertise, and it has changed how the world gets its news. Facebook is also about to make a lot of people very rich.

Speculation has swirled for years now on the timing of Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO). This is the official step that Facebook will take to become a publicly traded company. They will issue a set amount of private stock in their company for sale or trade in the open market. According to the recent announcement, Facebook is being valued at roughly $100 Billion going into their IPO.

Facebook Employees Get Rich

Facebook employees, as with most startup companies, were issued stock in the company as part of their compensation package. This part-ownership in the company has meant that for many years Facebook employees have actually owned shares of their employer. Because Facebook has become such a sought after company, Facebook employees have actually gone to secondary markets to sell their private stock for real money.

Secondary market site Sharespost, has been trading Facebook shares for years. This has allowed investors like you and me to buy stock in a private company. This is always a gamble, as there is no way to sell this stock unless you sell it back through the secondary market, or the company has an IPO, and the initial stock price is at or above the price you paid on the secondary market.

The current valuation of Facebook stock prices means that private shareholders could stand to see their share prices roughly double at what they are currently trading for on the secondary markets.

All of the Facebook employees who have sold their private stock in the secondary market over the last few years may very well be crying when the Facebook IPO actually happens.

Many Facebook employees who own thousands of shares of their company stand to become millionaires in one day when their shares are valued on the open market.

How Do We Get In On The Action?

Short answer?

Sadly you can’t…

Currently the only way to purchase Facebook shares is through a secondary market, and the private investors who buy and sell in that market usually do so with large sums of money; generally starting at $50,000 or more. Granted, you may be willing to risk an investment of that magnitude on this investment, but there is then the issue of supply and demand. When an IPO in it’s sights, nobody who owns private Facebook stock will be willing to sell. They see a big pay day in their future and are holding onto their stock in anticipation of the IPO.

Ok, so if I cannot buy through the secondary market, I will buy on the day the IPO hits!

Makes sense to me too, but unfortunately, this is not an option for the average investor either.

Because of the size and magnitude of the Facebook IPO, large banks such as Morgan Stanley will completely control the IPO. This means that only investors who use their brokerage firm will have access to Facebook shares. Even if you have an account with Morgan Stanley, you will need to be in the top tier of investors (likely with millions at your investing disposal) to even be offered Facebook shares. In one of the most hotly anticipated IPO’s in recent history, you can bet that the bidding war will be fierce, and Facebook stock will skyrocket on the day it is offered.

Stick to the “Get Rich Slowly” Method

Our friend JD, over at Get Rich Slowly has long preached the wisdom in index fund and dollar cost averaging. Sure, investing in the Facebook IPO is sexy and you could stand to make a lot of money. However, what if the stock tanks the day after the IPO? You could also lose a ton of money!

Investing for the long term is the key to real wealth accumulation.

I highly recommend investing in index funds which match the movement of the overall stock market, and are very low cost. Also, steady investing over time will let you take advantage of dollar cost averaging and ensure that you do not get suckered into buying high and selling low.

The path to true riches may lie in the Facebook IPO for a select few of us, but for the majority, stick with index funds and building wealth over time and you will sleep much better at night!

Money for College Project Weekly Roundup: Steam Rollin’ Edition

This week I was on a roll. So much of a roll in fact that this is my 8th post!

I have never even come close to posting 8 times in one week, and it is only Friday. I still have a whole lot going on in my life, but all of that has somehow energized me to work harder. Funny how that happens.

The Yakezie Network swapped teams last week also, which has brought a whole new round of teams around the network. I will miss my old teams, but I am looking forward to supporting my new team! The Money for College Project could never have gotten to where it is today without Yakezie!

Enjoy the selections for this week!

Money for College Project

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/01/30/do-you-spend-money-on-quality-or-quantity-the-120-pen-story/” color=”red”] The $120 Pen Story [/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/01/30/76-potential-vassar-college-students-accepted-then-denied/” color=”red”] Vassar College Admissions Blunder[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/01/31/my-shocking-email-from-amazon-about-sales-tax-pay-up/” color=”red”] Shocking Amazon Sales Tax Email[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/01/31/claremont-mckenna-college-inflated-sat-scores-to-boost-college-rankings/” color=”red”] Claremont McKenna SAT Snafu[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/01/sleep-deprivation-in-college-students-impacts-your-brain-and-body/” color=”red”] Sleep Deprivation – Infographic[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/01/would-you-take-college-classes-while-in-high-school/” color=”red”] College Classes in High School?[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/02/what-ryan-seacrest-can-teach-us-about-personal-finance/” color=”red”] Ryan Seacrest on Personal Finance[/button]

 

 

 

 

 

Yakezie Friends

 

[button link=”http://sustainablelifeblog.com/2012/02/03/the-newest-status-symbol/” color=”green”] Sustainable Life – New Status Symbol[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.stocktrendinvesting.com/blog/are-you-missing-rally-your-stock-market-strategy” color=”green”] Stock Tren Investing – Missing the Rally?[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.pennypinchingprofessional.com/2012/01/how-do-you-budget.html” color=”green”] Penny Pinching Pro – How Do You Budget?[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.fiscalphoenix.com/how-to-open-and-invest-in-a-roth-ira/” color=”green”]Fiscal Phoenix –  How to Open an IRA[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/2012/02/03/the-magic-of-compounding-has-left-the-building/” color=”green”] Mighty Bargain Hunter  – Magic of Compounding[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://moneycactus.com/how-to-get-what-you-want/” color=”green”] Money Cactus – How to Have it All[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.roshawnwatson.com/2012/02/3-myths-regarding-great-idea.html” color=”green”] Roshawn Watson – Great idea Myths[/button]

 

[button link=”http://brokeprofessionals.com/2012/02/01/maximizing-salaries-and-raises/” color=”green”] Broke Professionals – Maximizing Raises[/button]

 

[button link=”http://erinshanendoah.com/dogatemywallet/?p=374″ color=”green”] Dog Ate my Wallet – Are We Hoarders?[/button]