Welcome to Lazy Man and Money
Lazy Man and Money is my personal journal where I explore how I can save money and make more money. At least that was my goal when I got started in 2006. Since that time there have been at least three distinct phases of Lazy Man and Money:
- 2006-2007: Learning to write and covering peer-to-peer lending. I thought p2p lending would give me a way to earn a 13% return and get me to financial freedom faster than traditional investing methods (stocks, bonds, etc.). Turns out that it wasn't the case. I focused on other topics besides p2p lending some 80% of the time, but I have to admit that I was very focused on building a huge P2P fund that would pay me residual income each and every day. That's an idea that is still possible today, but I wouldn't expect more than 5-6% pre-tax returns which is a little less than I'm getting at Lending Club.
During this time, I was very open with my income, net worth, shoe size, and just about anything else that would help a reader be a voyeur into another person's money.
- 2007-Present: Write about how one can manage their money, get the most value for their dollar while trying to make more dollars. This is the personal finance stuff that you'd find in Money Magazine or Kiplinger's. I covered topics such as: banking, budgeting, career, credit, debt, entrepreneurship, investing, taxes, real estate, insurance, spending, retirement, and estate planning.
- 2008-Present: Expand awareness of Multi-Level Marketing (MLM). In 2008, I was introduced to MonaVie and through 6,000+ comments at MonaVie Scam, learned that the company uses disinformation to scam consumers into buying into its juice and the terrible business opportunity. Many people liked how thoroughly I covered the company and asked me about other MLM companies. I embraced the role as a consumer advocate and have researched a number of them. I've found that many of the companies scam consumers using the same deceitful tactics and created MLM Myth as a way of covering the industry in greater detail.
This industry isn't receiving enough consumer protection and the fact that it took the FTC and 3 states Attorneys General 10 years to shut-down Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing Scam Halted by the FTC for being a pyramid scheme is a prime evidence of that.
During this time I still focused 90% of my articles on basic and advanced personal finance principles as well as financial news that I thought consumers should know. It's not like this site is all about exposing MLM scams.
I get a lot of questions, so I thought I'd start with the one everyone asks.
Q: Why are you anonymous?
A: This is very common for personal finance blogs. Someone back in 2003, I think Flexo came up with the idea of, "Hey if I am anonymous, I can be more transparent with my money and show my audience my net worth, income, and moves that I'm undertaking to make them grow." In 2006 when I came across someone doing that, I thought it was extremely compelling and wanted to join in the fun.
Nowadays, there are literally thousands of anonymous personal finance bloggers. As Rental Mindset explains, this is typical:
There are hundreds of bloggers who publish every detail about their finances. Credit card debt, student loan debt, what they spend in a month, even exactly what they earn.
The majority of these people choose to remain anonymous. Sometimes because they have so much debt it’s awkward. Sometimes because they have so much money it’s crazy. Others just don’t want their co-workers to know their salary. Whatever the reason, anonymity allows them be more open.
Q: Why on Earth would you choose to call yourself Lazy Man?
A: There are four reasons:
- The Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) - This philosophy states that one can accomplish 80% of their task in 20% of the time. It's that last 20% of trying to get everything perfect that takes 80% of the time. I'd rather get 5 things 80% done than one thing 100% done.
- It's more efficient - If necessity is the mother of invention, laziness has to be the father. I think part of what sets human's apart is that they typically try to find a better, more efficient way of doing something. Usually, that's because the current way of doing it is simply too much work. Update 2/13/2013: - I just heard that there is a famous anonymous quote: "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." It's apparently not famous enough or it would have been my tagline from the start.
- Work Smarter, Not Harder - In the Information Age, I believe those that get ahead will be those who can process and act on that information.
- People who are Clever and Lazy are the Best Leaders - I didn't say this, this article used history to prove it. You'll have to take word on my laziness. As for showing cleverness, you have this blog, but also My Mensa Card which I got as quick proof that I'm not a total idiot. Fair?
Q: Isn't blogging a repetitive task? You have to write every day or so.
A: It is repetitive, but once it's written, it stays out in cyberspace and potentially earns me a little money each day. Yesterday's thoughts aren't "destroyed" by today's. It's not like making a bed where you are back to the start every day. Writing is a creative process and it's quite a bit different each day.
Q: It's weird to call you Lazy, do you have another name I could use?
A: For years, I went under the pseudonym of Corey Whitlaw, but you can call me Brian, as I am no longer anonymous.
Q: Can you give us a little more biographical information?
A: I'm 38 years old and married to a wonderful woman. We have two very young children born in 2012 and 2014. The older I refer to as Little Man. The younger I refer to as Mini Man. (I realize that this may be difficult for readers.)
We are proud to be a military family and do whatever we can to support the USO and Wounded Warriors.
We have a dog, Jake, who has won three most handsome dog competitions. You can see why. For some reason, dogs take to me like I'm the dog whisperer. Maybe it's from spending many hours at the dog park.
I spent 30 of my 38 years in the suburbs of Boston, until 2006 when I moved to Silicon Valley in Northern California... shortly after creating this blog. I graduated from Brandeis University with degrees in Computer Science and Linguistics. Until October of 2007, I was a full-time software engineer. Since then I've been focused on my online businesses full time. In late 2012, I've moved back to New England, hopefully to stay.
Q: Why do you blog about personal finance?
A: I've been interested in personal finance for around 25 years and would often read my mom's Kiplinger's Magazine. I was the only person I know in high school with mutual funds. I started this blog because I have some different views on finances and Money Magazine usually doesn't cover them. Here are ten more reasons why I blog about personal finance.
Q: You've convinced me that I should blog, can you help me get started?
A: I can. Note that blogging for money is a lot of work. For the first 7 months, I blogged almost every day and didn't make a penny. I'm at the point now where I'd probably do a little better blogging than working at a Starbucks.
However, if you really want to blog, read this advice for new personal finance bloggers. That's a pretty old and out-dated article. Just mail me and we'll go from there.