“Pay off your debt first. Freedom from debt is worth more than any amount you can earn” — Mark Cuban

July 18th, 2020, 8am pacific standard time. I no longer work at an office, my commute has been reduced from a 1 hour CalTrain ride to a 30 second walk from my bedroom to my home office. I log into my Earnest student loan portal, something that I do every morning, to check the payoff balance of my student loans, originally $170,000. Every login, every day, I cringe a bit, reminded of the poor decisions I made while in school…

“I used to care what people thought about me until I tried to pay my bills with their opinions” — Unknown

It has been 90 days. No, i’m not talking about sobriety, the elimination of junk food, or how many days in a row i’ve meditated (all pretty cool goals). The 90 days i’m referencing is a financial disease which impacts 80% of Americans: student loan debt. It has been over 90 days since i’ve paid off over $170,000 of student loan debt and embarked on a journey of debt freedom and wealth creation.

In the middle of a pandemic…

So I recently got into a long winded debate about the merits (or lack thereof) of Index Universal Life Insurance, “IULs” for short. This debate involved myself against 3 life insurance agents who were pitching IULs to a larger audience. It was quite entertaining (for me anyway).

Their pitch on “IULs” are essentially the following:

  • Index universal life insurance are polices which offers the holder the opportunity participate to see their “policy appreciate” by investing in the stock mark , this is called “cash value”.
  • Index universal life insurance is advantageous to term life insurance because you’re “not throwing the…

I was having a conversation with a colleague who has decided to tip toe into the field of day trading penny stocks. We can collectively agree this has substantial risk, but how? His play was $MITO “Stealth BioTherapeutics Corporation”. Note that I have no position in this, long or short. What happens next is an example of what can go wrong.

He bought at the peak:

Hindsight is 20/20, he didn’t know he was at the peak, how could he have “guessed?” No one has a crystal ball but there are parameters he can look at. …

So I was listening to an interview with Howard Marks & Joel Greenblatt, called “Is It Different This Time?” and one of Joel’s talking points about the euphoria we’ve reached in the stock markets is that:

  • He took the 100 least profitable companies in 2019 (pre-covid)
  • As of early 2021 all 100 companies have posted a 100% return [1]

I thought that statement was bonkers, so I took a list of NYSE + NASDAQ companies ~ 6500, excluded SPACs/warrants and anything that triggered an error in google sheets (lazy I know), which left around 5000 equities.

  • Of the 5,000 equities…

I recently saw an ad by Bank of America where their CEO Brian Moynihan made the following statement:

”We are focusing our resources on the number one priority — looking after people”.

This statement made me cringe and ultimately serves as the basis for this article. Here’s the punchline: Credit cards are destroying the US economy not the coronavirus.

Close your eyes and dream

Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and the following two statements represented your financial picture:

  1. You owed no one nothing. This means no credit cards, no student loans, no car loans, no car leases, no mortgage. …

March 25th 2020, the United States Congress passed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act”. It was a $2.2 trillion dollar tax pay funded bail out as a result of a stalled economy from shelter in place orders at the national, state and local level. Of the $2.2 trillion dollars allocated via the US Cares Act[1], $349 billion dollars were allocated to the “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) [2], a forgivable loan program for “small business owners” which allocates up to $10 million dollars to cover (primarily) payroll costs, mortgage interest, and other operational expenses.


“The best time to start was yesterday, the next best time is now”

Repeat after me, “It is not too late to start blogging…it is not too late to start blogging”.

Ok I get it — blogging is sexy and it’s an awesome side hustle. The idea of having people read the (amazing) content you write with the hope that you’ll find a path to monetization is clutch, but blogging in 2020 isn’t the same as blogging in 2009. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier. In 2009 I launched a technology blogged which, at its peak, had around 25,000 unique visitors…

There is *so much* mis-information regarding the US Cares Act (commonly known as the “corona virus stimulus check)” that i’m beginning to think the mis-information may be just as problematic as the virus itself.

The purpose of this post is to clearly define what benefits are available to individuals with federally insured student loan debt. I am not going to reference the US Cares Act documentation and nothing else. No news, not CNN, not Fox, not MSNBC. They’re all freak shows right now. I am going to reference actual language within the bill. Let’s start.

First — the US Cares Act student loan “assistance” only applies to federal student loans

“Federal student loan debt” means…

John Cook

Financial insanity @ Educated & Broke. Get the book now — https://amz.run/3eeD

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