Finances, goals, making money, passive income, Retirement, Savings, Uncategorized, wealth

Real WEALTH through Estate!


In my pursuit of reaching FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) or Financial Freedom by age 40, I aim to use Real Estate to build wealth. This desire is more of a recent one, in fact, just last year. Through a finance blogger Tim Kim, I was able to discover Bigger Pockets where I found an incredible amount of free information on getting started in Real Estate.


Why Real Estate?

I want to diversify my income streams and Real Estate is a good option because it provides 1 of 6 of basic human needs for survival, shelter. We all need a place to live. When was the last time you paid for rent? Who does that money go to? For those who own homes, you understand this idea. Paying off your home is building your wealth (equity), which you could then use to invest in more properties.


3 basic ways to build Wealth through Real Estate

  1. Own it. Even if you have a loan on your property, the money you are paying off is going straight to your equity. In other words, it can be thought of as a piggy bank. If there is an appreciation or depreciation in your home value, you benefit. Appreciation is clear; your home increases in value. For depreciation, you can write it off on your taxes.
  2. Rent it. If you own property, PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance), and other necessary expenses may amount to a sizable cut off your pay. Consider renting out a room either through Craigslist or Airbnb (this is an affiliate code that will give you a discount for your next reservation).
  3. Keep it. Owning property should be a selective process. Choosing the right location is key to Real Estate investing. Consider buying a home in areas with low Capitalization Rates and hold on to your property, tend to it either on your own or through a property manager. If you chose a location near a college, an area with potential economic growth, and/ or you choose a place experiencing gentrification, you can benefit from property value increase.

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Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Finances, Retirement, Savings

Staying Crypto-Current

What is a Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is making the headline on news outlets all around the internet, but what is it? A cryptocurrency is simply a digital currency that is independent of centralized systems, namely banks. The very first cryptocurrency, the Bitcoin, was created in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. We still don’t know who created it, but his/ her/ their creation has amassed a huge adoption by many around the world. Having been introduced in 2009, it’s price was nearly nothing, fractions of a penny; then it jumped up to nearly $20k. Today, a single Bitcoin costs around $13k and is one of over 1,000 other cryptocurrency, also called alt coins. The mainstream media for the years since Bitcoin’s inception have portrayed it in a negative light; though it has its share of objections, many are starting to invest in it.

The top three Cryptocurrency in the world:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Ripple
  3. Ethereum

Uniqueness of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is decentralized, meaning that it is not controlled by conglomerates such as banks and government. In addition, it incorporates blockchain technology, which is an incorruptible digital ledger that keeps track of everything that has happened in the past and will happen with the coin in the future. The amount and the fashion in which the coins are distributed vary.

Ex) Bitcoin:

There are 7,200 Bitcoins produced per day, but there will be less and less as time goes by and will eventually halt in production at 21 million Bitcoins, in year 2140.

More Resources on Cryptocurrency

  1. Blogger Tim Kim:
  2. A list of Cryptocurrency being traded:
  3. Documentary on Netflix: Banking on Bitcoin

Buying Cryptocurrency

Coinbase is the most commonly used and user friendly platform for people to purchase Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin (ranked in the top 6 cryptocurrency).

Word of Caution

Although Cryptocurrency may be popular and have extensive reach around the world, it is very volatile. It has also been used wrongly for criminal purposes. If you are considering purchasing coins, you are doing so at your own risk.



Experiences, Finances, goals, making money, MLM, money, passive income, Retirement, rich, Savings, Uncategorized, wealth


Lessons Learned

Starting off in the work field after college was an arduous ordeal that consisted of misleading business propositions and some money mistakes, thankfully none that I deeply regret. I almost joined 2 different MLMs (multi-level marketing), almost became a life insurance agent, and spent lots of my money on eating out. Today, I’ll share on my MLM experience.


In order to understand what an MLM is, you can think of a pyramid. At the very top of the pyramid, you have one individual, and that individual recruits someone else; they in turn return others creating a pyramid-like structure.

The 1st MLM I was almost convinced to join was called ACN, a business that provides telecommunication services. A buddy of mine called me up and got me to sit down with him to hear a business proposition, which sounded incredible to say the least. The selling point is to accomplish the things you’ve only dreamed of and the limitless ability to make money. I was more young and foolish than I am now and decided to continue on with attending a seminar.

My friend kindly offered to pick me up and take me to the place, which I gladly accepted. We parked in the parking structure of a Holiday Inn. As we climbed the stairs towards the meeting location, we were welcome by booming electronic music and chattering of many voices. It was a pumped up environment with lots of sharp and well-dressed individuals. There was a bit of adrenaline rushing through my system as I was taking in all that was happening.

The seminar soon began and there was some sort of chant that started as the mc for the evening came up and introduced himself. There was a lot of positivity and energy in the place. After 2 speakers who shared their story and how they reached their level of success: thousands of dollars in passive income.

After the seminar was finished, I was introduced to a beautiful woman who then shared with me her business proposition. The constant flattery and words of motivation were lavished on me and if I’m to admit, it felt good, but my mind was still cycling through the words of the presenters and tried to assess what they were selling.

Ultimately, I would be paying $500 for a website with a monthly payment to keep it running, mentorship, and invitation to events (which were several hundred dollars more). The way that I would really make money would be to recruit other people to join and take commission from what they were selling. This would be the way to financial freedom! The woman pressed me to make a decision saying how winners act fast. I decided not to be so quick to act and slept on it.

The next morning, I realized the business proposition was exciting and adventurous but not one I would want to be involved in. I turned down the offer.


Reflections on my Experience

I can see how such an organization can be successful, but the chance of reaching the pinnacle of success within that sort of business is extremely slim. There are those who make it to the top, the hustlers, and they do make enormous amounts of money, but at what cost?

I realized that some of the successful people in the business were sold on the products that they were selling, but were more so focused on recruiting others into their business. The money was more in the recruiting than it was in actually selling the products. This is when the alarm went off in my mind.

Overall, many businesses won’t last as they are built on shaky ground. A good business should have well-thought principles and values at its core, with a strong vision to add value; along with planning, developing strategies for growth, and systematizing its processes.

If an MLM is doing that and isn’t focused on making money on people’s hopes and delusion but is set on building great business that impacts the world for good, I say great for them, but I personally wouldn’t join one nor recommend others to join one. Too many have gotten suckered into it and have lost much more than they have gained.


Share your Experience!

This is a small bit of my financial journey and how I almost made a big money mistake. Have you ever been asked to join an MLM? What sort of financial mistakes have you made?


Welcome to Stewarding Finances!

Hello all,

My name is Samuel Kwak and I am authoring this blog. There are several reasons why I decided to start this blog but mainly for the following:

  1. I wanted to grow in my financial literacy.
  2. I wanted to be intentional applying my financial literacy.
  3. People were asking me for advice regarding their finances.
  4. Share everything I learn with those around me!
  5. Have a community to grow with.


Your comments and engagement are welcome!