25 Part Time Jobs To Make Some Extra Money In 2019!

If you’re finding your wallet empty and your budget stretched too thin, it may be time to add another job to your resume. Even part-time jobs can yield big returns.

Check out the 25 jobs below that are known to bring good sized paychecks without requiring you to clock in a 40-hour work week.

1. School Bus Driver

Most school districts have a difficult time finding enough drivers, and openings pop up at any time during the school year. Drivers are given complete training and then work around 20 hours a week or even less. Pay scales average around $15 per hour, and you may will have plenty of school holidays and the whole summer off for other pursuits.


2. Bank Teller

There are also frequent openings for tellers, and in financial institutions there’s plenty of opportunities to advance in your position. Pay is good and even as a part-timer you could have the option of contributing to a retirement account. You will quickly get up to speed handling money and your math skills will increase exponentially. Bonus: you can make your own hours and even work weekends so you can fit this part-time job into your schedule with your regular full-time job.

3. Private Tutor

If your math skills are above par or you know the books “Lord of the Flies” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” (which you read and critiqued in high school and are still part of the
English curriculum) this part-time job is for you. It can be done online, but you can typically charge more if you go to your student’s home or even work at a public place such as the library. Since this job is done in evenings or weekends, this is a good choice if you’re adding a part-time job to your daytime 9 to 5 job. Personal tutors can rake in as
much as $30 per hour, making this a stellar option if you’re willing to crack the books and are patient correcting grammar and spelling. Be prepared to proofread and edit your student’s work so it’s perfect.

4. Editor

Speaking of proofreading, editing is a great option because you can work your own schedule (although you need to make sure you adhere to deadlines). Build up a steady group of clients through social media marketing and word-of-mouth, and you can earn a pretty penny. Since this is done online, if you work accurately and efficiently, this can be the ideal part-time job for you.

5. Landscaper

Love being outdoors? Landscaping is a fantastic part-time gig because there’s work in all seasons. In summer, you’ll be hired to mow and trim bushes; there are plenty of leaves to rake in fall (no jumping in the piles allowed!) and snow removal in winter. Again, you can set your own house and do the bulk of the work in summer and fall on weekends to rake in the highest pay. Design business cards to distribute and watch your client list blossom.

6. Home/Office/Church/School Cleaner

There are almost unlimited places that need cleaners, from private homes to high schools. Pop an ad up on social media and you’ll soon have lots of messages from home
owners, church pastors and business people looking for cleaning services. School cleaners and office help typically work nights, and you can squeeze in home cleaning during the day when clients are at work. Piece together a small group of customers for a part-time job that makes sense to you and your schedule.

Cleaner, Flickr

7. Office/Administrative Assistant

From making travel plans to scheduling meetings, this assistant to business people is a great part-time gig. Some assistants even work from home. You can bring in optimum pay if you snag a boss that’s a CEO in a larger company, earning around $15 to $25 per hour. Note: you will likely need to work regular business hours, so plan accordingly.

8. Deliver Mail

Did you know mail carriers average about 20 hours a week? If you are interested in being outdoors, getting lots of exercise and working independently, this job is for you.
Even though this is a part-time job, with pay around $20 an hour, you’ll see money delivered to your bank account that really adds up.


9. Dental Hygienist

If you’re willing to go back to school to earn an Associate’s Degree, this low-stress, high demand job allows you to set your own hours and also the number of hours you work
each day. You will always have nights and weekends off, and can earn a smile-worthy $35 an hour.

10. Makeup Artist

Always had a way with eyeliner and contouring? Master the art of cosmetics and you can work at a store offering makeovers or work on your own with clients who want to
look their best for special occasions like parties and weddings. Be sure to take pics to develop your own portfolio and ask happy clients for testimonials praising your work.

11. Yoga Instructor

Study for your yoga license and open your own business to teach classes, or work with small groups or individuals on this form of exercise and relaxation that’s become highly
sought and is all the rage these days. Both physically toning and mentally soothing, yoga is being embraced by people wanting to escape the stress of everyday life. As an added bonus, you’ll get into the best shape of your life teaching classes! Time to say “namaste” and learn this art to teach to others wanting to slow down their fast-paced stressful daily life.

12. Entrepreneur

There are so many ways to work part-time developing your own niche business. Artsy? Create a brand and sell anything from painted sneakers to hand-stitched placements on sites such as Etsy. Got an idea for something that will improve peoples’ lives? Have a gadget you’d love to develop? Take the plunge and follow your dreams as an entrepreneur. If you’re committed and willing to put in the time and effort, you can watch your home-based small business grow and flourish.

13. Baker

Many successful bakers launched a business starting with just a handful of recipes for homemade pies and cakes. You will need to set up a certified commercial kitchen that
meets health department standards, but once up and running, you can bake your specialty gourmet cheesecake, frosted cookies and shortbreads and even offer delivery as part of the service. Some churches and fraternal lodges have commercial grade kitchens they may be willing to rent out to you. Watch this sweet business grow, and you can turn it into a full-time job running your own bakery.


14. Pet Care

From dog walking to dog washing, this job always has a high demand. In today’s busy world, lots of business people seek dog walkers during the day, or even while they’re away on vacation. Some even hire dog lovers to go socialize with this much-loved member of their family. You can also offer pet washing and grooming at peoples’ homes. Or try a “take a pet to the vet” service to relieve owners of the stressful job of keeping Fido’s shots up to date. If you’re an animal lover, this part-time job is a walk in the park.

15. In Home Care

You will need to sign on with a professional service to take on this job, but there is high demand for people to provide home care for older adults. Your tasks will likely include light housekeeping and/or meal planning and cooking, but your main job duty will be spending time with an elderly adult, socializing and ensuring their safety. Be sure to have pristine references for your background. If you’re compassionate and want to work with people, this caring part-time job could grow into full-time work as you take on a roster of clients.

16. Realtor

Brush up on your sales skills and get your realty license, and you’re in business. Sure, you will spend a good amount of time showing homes, but commissions are high when you make a sale. Sign on with a reputable realty company and start hustling.

17. Test Monitor

This is a no-stress job that pays a decent hourly wage. From civil service tests to college exams, monitors keep an eye on what’s going on in the classroom to ensure rules are
being followed and to time test completion. You will be paid by the hour for this easy peasy gig. Check with local school districts to start.

18. Grocery Store Brand Rep

This is another low stress part-time job because it doesn’t involve actual sales. Instead, you offer samples and hand out coupons for everything from Kellogg Cereals to Doritos to boost their business. Sure, you may need to wear an apron, but you can work your own schedule and even test the samples yourself.

19. Customer Service Reps

Places like visitor’s centers, museums, convention halls and hotels are always looking for guest service reps to handle everything from greeting people to leading tours. At conventions, you can be a scheduler and event organizer for any gatherings you choose, making this a part-time job that will keep you challenged and on the go.

20. Survey Caller

No one likes to answer the phone for a cold call from someone with a pushy sales pitch, but answering surveys is an entirely different thing. You can be hired by any number of companies to do surveys on peoples’ likes and dislikes that provide valuable feedback about a product or service. There may be a call center, but chances are good you can conduct surveys from home, making this ideal for setting your own hours.

21. Parking Attendant

Sure, you will have to sit in a small booth, but hey, at least you’re not on your feet for hours at a time. Ticket booth operators may also need to make change and deal with a
few cranky people when you tell them the lot is full, but in general this is a low-stress part-time job that has the added benefit of working independently without anyone looking over your shoulder.

Parking Attendant.jpg
Parking Attendant, Flickr

22. Retail

You can easily name your own hours in this high-demand job. Pick a store with brands you like to take advantage of the worker’s discount. Many store workers simply greet
people and offer to help them shop, or work the cash register. You don’t necessarily get involved with pushing sales on people that may be undecided. Another plus: you can work evenings or weekends at your discretion, so this job can easily be fit in with a full-time job. Seasonal work around the holidays is always available.

23. Restaurant Host/Seater

Pick your favorite chain or independent eatery and apply for a host/hostess job. This is different from waitressing, which is a stressful, labor intensive job. Hosts and hostesses generally greet people, lead them to a table and hand out menus. Time will fly by in this fast-paced job and you may even be offered discounted or free meals as a staff member.

24. Social Media Marketing

Investing Simple is affiliated with Kevin David.

Many people don’t know the difference between a Tweet and a Facebook post, or what Instagram even involves. Whether they want to learn these skills for a small business or for keeping in touch with family and friends, you can use your knowledge and experience with social media to teach others lacking understanding and practice. There are plenty of technology shy people out there too embarrassed to ask for help but willing to work privately with someone who knows their stuff. Leverage the social media know how you already have into a great consulting gig!

Check out this video to learn more about how you can make money through social media marketing. Here is the free training link.

25. Lifeguard

Yes, you will need to become certified, but think of the great shape you will be in afterwards. You can work outside during the summer and inside at gym or school
pools in colder months, and rates of pay are high. Try this out and expect a flood of job offers coming your way.

Part-time gigs require flexibility and the willingness to think outside the box to seek work that’s in high demand. But once you’re in the groove of your 20-hour or less a week job, you will see your income soaring.

Got a suggestion for a part time job? Comment below!

What Is The Average Return On LendingClub?

Investing Simple is affiliated with LendingClub. This relationship does not influence our opinion of these platforms.

LendingClub is one of the most popular peer to peer lending platforms available to investors today. On the platform, users can invest in a variety of notes ranked by different grades representing the investment’s risk. LendingClub was founded in 2006 and has had a relatively short track record compared to other traditional investments. In this article, we are going to talk about the variety of different returns investors have earned on LendingClub. If you are new to LendingClub, read our full review here.

LendingClub offers a variety of charts on their website displaying historical returns over specific time periods. The LendingClub site shows that investors have earned a 12.9% average annualized return over the 3rd quarter of 2018. This is an average return across a variety of note grades and maturities.

lendingclub investing simple review

It is strongly recommended by LendingClub to diversify your note portfolio. By investing in a variety of different maturities and note grades, you may lower the overall risk in your portfolio. Your note allocation may have a direct impact on your expected and realized returns. Below you can see how returns have varied over time across different types of notes.

lendingclub investing simple review average returns.PNG

As you can see in the chart above, LendingClub ranks their notes in risk from A to G with A grades being the safest and G grades holding the most risk. Similar to most traditional investments, the higher the risk the higher the potential return or loss. You can see in the chart that F and G grade notes had an average interest rate of 25%. However, after accounting for the amount of loan defaults and fees, investors earned an annualized return of 2.84% if they invested in F and G grade loans over the 3rd quarter of 2018.

Below you can see a breakdown of the LendingClub return calculation after fees and charge offs that are required when individuals default on their loans. Here is a hypothetical scenario…

lendingclub investingsimple return

Click here to get started with LendingClub today!

You can have multiple investment strategies in LendingClub to aim for your own ideal return. For example, your strategy may be to invest in notes that are graded between A and D and are strictly business loans. Or you may want to place even bets across grades A to G for borrowers that have verified their income. There are a variety of different strategies you can use to mitigate your investment risk while maintaining a worthy return on LendingClub. Some investors may be willing to take on higher risk in order to earn a higher potential return, some investors may want to take a more conservative approach and invest in the highest grade notes only. Just like any other investment you must understand the risks involved, and there are no guarantees for positive returns.

LendingClub also offers automated investing on its platform where they will choose the portfolio of notes you invest in. You will select the criteria for your risk and investment duration and LendingClub will select notes based on that criteria.

LendingClub is still a growing platform and more and more borrowers are using it’s platform to take out loans. Below you can see the total loan issuance since 2011 and the significant growth over the last 5 years.

lendingclub loan issues investingsimple.blog.PNG

Overall, LendingClub offers a dynamic lending and borrowing platform that takes the bank out of the picture. Direct peer to peer lending has allowed a new type of investment platform to emerge as well as providing a new medium for borrowers to take out loans. Investment returns on LendingClub have varied over time based on investment risk, time horizon, credit risk, and a variety of other factors. Just like any other investment, positive returns are not guaranteed.

Click here to get started with LendingClub today!

31 Side Hustles To Make An Extra $100 In 2019!

Sure, you work all day to earn a decent living that covers your basic expenses, but
who couldn’t use a little extra moola, especially around the holidays?

Side hustles are called this for a reason: you do them outside your regular job, and
you’ve gotta hit the ground running and keep up pace to earn the big bucks.

Here are 31 suggestions to get you started with your side hustle:

1. Sell your extra stuff on eBay

Got extra merch? Set up your own store on eBay with a seller account, then
write some catchy copy to lure in customers. Your inventory can include
everything from new socks to bicycle tires, you name it. Find a niche and
start offering advice, such as how to install bike tires; your customers will be
grateful for the extra how-to info.

2. Break out your camera and take photos

Practice makes perfect, and once you’ve mastered the art of photography,
you can sell your masterpieces online. Or create a portfolio (doesn’t matter if
it’s pics of your Aunt Margaret or Uncle Hal; no one will know), then
market yourself as an events photographer for proms, birthday parties and

3. Teach a continuing education class

If you’ve learned something others could use, such as couponing or
managing a budget, you can contact schools in your area and make a pitch to
teach a class for adults. Think outside the box: there are courses out there on
how to make the perfect cheese omelet, how to plan a cruise and learning to
swing dance. These are typically done at night, which makes this hustle a

4. Create and sell your own online course

Use your notes from your night class to launch your own course online. You
can teach anything from house training a dog to how to change the oil in a
car, to how to make those perfect frosting flowers when decorating a cake.

If you are interested in creating an online course, check out this free training by one of the blog authors! Click here to get started.

5. Design logos for small businesses

If you have a flair for design, contact local or even regional small businesses
with suggestions it’s time to revamp their company logo. Create a portfolio of unique insignias with unusual fonts and bold colors and send samples to your potential client list. Your first step can be making a logo for your own design biz!

If you want to take this a step further, post your graphic design gig on Fiverr and create logos for people all over the world!

6. Complete data entry for clients

This could be the ideal work-from-home side job for you, since it only
involves your time, and your computer. You can set your own hours – if
you’re a morning person, dig in before your day job. Conversely, if you’re a
night person, brew the coffee after dinner and work as long as you like. Try
googling “data entry jobs” to launch this side hustle.

7. Rent out your garage space

This is a great incentive to sort out the junk that’s accumulated in your
garage, which some people think of as a spare room. Downsize your
belongings, clear out the garage and offer it for a monthly rental fee. Many
people seek space for their vehicles, particularly in the winter months. You
may even get a bidding war going on this one!

8. Rent out your spare rooms

While we’re on the topic of renting space, why not offer that spare bedroom
you’re not using to a tenant? Today’s leases cover just about everything,
from the landlord’s rights to damage to property. Plus, you’ll be on site to
keep an eye on things. Google sample leases online to find one that offers
you the right amount of protection, and don’t forget to ask for references
from all potential tenants. Set a short-term lease, such as month to month, if
you’re uncertain about making a 12-month commitment.

9. Deliver food for people

Lots of hungry people would happily pay for delivery of their fave fast food
right to their doorstep. Hand out flyers or better still, business cards touting
your service, and be prepared to work late hours and weekends. Along with
a standard rate, you can expect to receive tips for exceptionally good service.
Invest in a well-insulated carrying package to keep the burgers and tacos
warm on the way.

10. Be a designated or private driver

While we’re talking about earning cash with your vehicle, how about
advertising your services As a Designated Driver? Lots of (smart) people are
looking to party safely and would be happy to enlist your freelance services.
This is also work you can do evenings and weekends.

You could also offer your services as a private driver. Some people are looking for something a little more personal than an Uber driver. A suit and tie can go a long way!

11. Design websites for clients

Many people lack the time, knowledge and imagination to launch a website,
but if you’ve got the time and savvy, put it to good use and make a pretty
penny! Do a quick search of businesses in a particular category, such as pet salons or auto repair shops, and check out their websites. Contact them with suggestions for improvements and make your pitch.

12. Watch apartments and houses for friends

These days, many people prefer not to leave an empty house or apartment
when they’re travelling. Get together a list of solid references so people
know you’re trustworthy, then get the buzz going about your service on
social media. Eventually, business will grow through word-of-mouth. You
can charge more if the gig includes taking care of a pet!

13. Pet sitting

Believe it or not, there are people who want socialization so their dog
doesn’t feel isolated while they go to work. This is the ultimate win-win,
because you’ll get paid to play fetch or toss around dog toys for your
customer’s pooch. Offer extra services such as combing snarly hair or taking
the dog out for a walk, and your pay will rise exponentially.

14. Flip cars on Craigslist

One of the best ways to make some extra side money is flipping cars. If you know what you are looking for, you can find great deals on used cars online. This is usually a result of a seller needing to get rid of a car that day for some reason. While you should be mechanically inclined, this can be a great way to make some extra side income!

Check out this video here. These guys flipped a 2007 Toyota Camry for a hefty profit of $1,000! You can too.

15. Rent out your car

This is a great choice if you live someplace where you can walk to work or
to the downtown and can get by without your vehicle for a weekend or a
couple days during the week. One caveat: check with your insurance carrier
to see what coverage you need, but once you have your premiums paid,
you’re good to go.

16. Offer a writing service

This involves both writing and some design skills, but practice up and
produce some great samples and you’ll see clients coming in by the droves.
Your samples don’t have to be for actual people; you can dream up
backgrounds and career goals and prepare something that stands out from
the crowd.

17. Catering

If you love to cook and are able to present food in an attractive way, this is
the hustle for you. People will pay good money for home cooked and baked
items as small as a birthday cake and as large as a full course meal for 20 or
a picnic for the entire corporation. Develop a menu of items you feel
comfortable whipping up (bonus points for dusting off that old recipe for
Swedish meatballs from your Granny, or the apple crisp that’s been in the
family forever), and post it on social media. Ask satisfied clients for positive feedback and post testimonials singing your praises. Now, get in the kitchen
and start making your magic!

18. Tutoring

From high school geometry and social studies to college essays and
coursework, people will pay good money for private tutoring. Offer
reasonable rates and tutor in your areas of expertise, and you’ll soon have
repeat customers. Bonus points if you relieve parents of the challenge of
learning new math to help with their child’s homework.

19. Teach basic computer skills

Many folks in the older generation haven’t learned how to even turn on a
laptop or use their phone for anything more than making calls. Offer private
or small group lessons and patiently go from A to B with easy to follow
steps. Keep in mind your students may be starting with zero knowledge, and
be patient. Gauge the progress of your group or student to judge how many
sessions will be needed to bring them up to speed.

20. Teach music lessons

If you’ve been strumming away for years and feel comfortable teaching the
basics, advertise your services for lessons. People who’ve wanted to play
this popular instrument will pay for private lessons to bring out their inner

21. Small repair work

Handy with a hammer and nails? There are tons of people out there looking
for help with small household repairs. Remember, no job is too small for you
to help (and charge for). You’ll likely be working evenings and weekends,
but the extra cash will go straight into that vacation fund or whatever you’re
saving for.

22. Personal training and nutrition consulting

If you’re a gym rat and have an outgoing personality, offer your services as a
personal trainer to motivate couch potatoes to put together a cardio and
weights workout they can do at the local Y or in their home with a small
investment of weights. Once they start seeing results, they will recommend
you to their friends.

23. Offer cooking lessons

People love cooking lessons because they get to sample the finished product
and take home the leftovers. These can be anything from orange chicken to
fudge cake. Most schools and churches have kitchens that can accommodate
groups, so find a location and get cooking!

24. House cleaning

In today’s rushed lifestyle, many people simply do not have the time to scrub
the tub, dust and wash the kitchen floor. Grab a friend and some basic cleaning
products (some customers will have their own to use) and market your services
on social media. You can offer extra services like doing a load of laundry or
running the dishwasher that will earn a great hourly wage and even tips.

25. Snow removal

You will have a full list of customers if you’re willing to rise early after a
snowfall and clear snow from driveways and sidewalks. Offer to break up
ice on the front steps and put down rock salt as well.

26. Window washing

This household chore is dreaded by most home owners, even though it only
requires some Windex and a squeegee. Today’s windows pop right out for
easy cleaning! You can charge by the hour, or by the window, and the
sparkling results will mean repeat business for you.

27. Clean pools

Once you learn this task, you’ll be swimming in customers. Skimming off
leaves and vacuuming the pool is a chore many people who can afford a
pool don’t have time for.

28. Mobile oil changes

Make a mobile business out of changing oil on driveways and you will have
customers that call every time they need a change. Try charging 5% less
than some pricey motor oil places charge, and still see a hearty profit.

29. Painting service

Grab a few friends and some brushes and tape and launch a business
painting walls and exterior pieces like gates and shutters and mailbox stands.
Most people like the stage of picking out colors from swatches at home
improvement stores, but procrastinate badly about doing the actual painting.
You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a painting crew. Snap pics of your
finished work and ask customers to serve as references to bring this business
to the next level.

30. Home staging

Learn a little about aesthetics and offer your services to people trying to sell
their house. Arrange furniture and artwork to make the house look cozy and
inviting. Don’t forget to put some cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove
for a scent that makes potential buyers feel like the house could be their

31. Mobile car wash

Have you seen the price of commercial car washes these days? They’re very
high, and there are often delays as people sit in line on sunny days. Grab
some buckets and soap and use their hose to wash their Hondas on the
driveway. Do little extras like hand drying to a brilliant shine and even
offering waxing services and you will drive away with a ton of extra cash.

Got an idea for a side hustle that we missed? Comment below!

Happy Hustling!

Top 3 Investing Apps That Let You Invest For Free In 2019

Investing Simple is affiliated with Webull and M1 Finance. This relationship does not influence our opinion of this platform.

For the average retail investor, there has never been a better time to get started with investing in the stock market. Improvements in technology and algorithmic trading over the last 10 years have allowed new types of investment apps and brokerages to emerge. Many of these apps and brokerages are offered completely free to United States users.

In this article, we are going to outline 3 of the top free investment platforms and apps. Some of these picks are very well known and others still growing in popularity. Here is our review of the M1 Finance, Webull, and Robinhood investing apps. Each platform offers a different user experience, so it is important that you do your research before choosing which investing app to use.

webull vs m1 finance vs robinhood.png
Best Free Investing Apps 2019

1. M1 Finance App

M1 Finance is a new type of investing app that allows you to automate your investing 100% for free. You can invest in a variety of ETFs and stocks on the M1 Finance platform. Once you build your portfolio and deposit funds, you can sit back and allow your portfolio to be automatically rebalanced by the M1 Finance platform. Your entire stock market portfolio can be put on autopilot!

M1 Finance Investing App

M1 Finance works by creating a portfolio called a pie. Within each pie you choose the specific stocks and ETFs that make up your pie. For example, you could have a pie that is 50% Facebook stock and 50% Netflix stock. You can have an unlimited number of pies on the M1 Finance platform as well as the option to put 100 holdings within one pie. For example, you could have a growth pie and an income pie on M1 Finance!

M1 Finance also offers expert pies created by securities professionals on their platform. M1 Finance is the only platform we have come across that offers this service on a completely free investing app. These prebuilt pies are designed for specific investment goals. You can invest for your retirement, follow specific industries and sectors, as well as follow your favorite hedge fund managers. M1 Finance offers these prebuilt pies completely 100% free. For those who do not want to build a portfolio from scratch, this can be a great option.

Click here to get started with M1 Finance!

M1 Finance Expert Pie
M1 Finance Expert Pies

Pie investing through M1 Finance allows you to maintain a diversified portfolio even if you have a smaller investing account. One of the problems investors have faced for years is having a well diversified portfolio without having tens of thousands of dollars to invest. M1 Finance has created a solution by allowing you to invest in fractional shares for free!

For example, you can invest $100 into a pie that is 50% Alphabet stock and 50% Netflix stock. Traditionally, you would need over $1,000 dollars to build a portfolio consisting of only these 2 companies. M1 Finance has changed the game by offering fractional shares. This allows you to hold smaller portions of stocks within your portfolio and increase your overall diversification.

Automation is a big part of the M1 Finance platform. M1 Finance has a variety of features that allow you to passively manage your investments. Out of the 3 platforms we are comparing in this review, M1 Finance is the most automated. That is why, in most cases, M1 Finance is the best choice for passive investors.

M1 Finance Features

Dynamic Rebalancing: This is one of M1’s most useful features, giving you the ability to streamline your investments. When you deposit funds, M1 Finance will allocate those funds across the holdings in your portfolio. When you withdraw funds, M1 Finance will sell off proportional positions in your portfolio making sure you stay fully diversified. Dynamic rebalancing allows you to withdraw and deposit funds knowing that you will always be fully invested and you won’t need to actively buy or sell positions yourself.

M1 Finance Automatic Rebalancing

Built In Tax Efficiency: M1 Finance allows you to minimize your tax liability by using tax efficient strategies when selling investments. M1 Finance is the only free investing platform we have come across that offers a tax efficient selling strategy for free.

When you withdraw money from your M1 Finance account, your investments are sold in this order:

  1. Losses that offset capital gains

  2. Securities or groups of securities that result in long term capital gains (lower tax rate)

  3. Securities or groups of securities that result in short term capital gains (higher tax rate)

By using these tax minimization strategies, M1 Finance aims to keep more of your money invested. By doing so, they are saving you money in the long term and allowing for more compounding to build in your account over time.

Click here to get started with M1 Finance!

Investing Schedules: Within the M1 Finance app, you have the ability to set up recurring deposits or withdrawals into and out of your account. M1 Finance will automatically invest or sell funds in order to satisfy your cash needs. When we said you could automate your entire portfolio with M1 Finance, we meant it!

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M1 Finance Recurring Investments

Cash Balance Control: M1 Finance allows investors to set their preferred cash balance within their account at all times. If you were to need cash out of your account, you have it ready to go. You may also wish to hold a cash balance if you are dollar cost averaging into the market. Investing portions of your cash into the market over a period of time may be less risky during volatile market conditions. If you do not enable this feature, you will remain fully invested through M1 Finance.

The Verdict: M1 Finance

In most cases, M1 Finance is a great platform for passive investors. Most of their features cater to a long term passive investor who is sensitive to fees and taxes. M1 Finance has many strengths such as their smart rebalancing, tax minimization strategies and fractional shares. Another advantage is the ability to create your own portfolio of stocks and ETFs that fit your specific needs. If you are not comfortable with building your own portfolio, you can choose from M1’s expert pies that are built by their own securities professionals. M1 Finance would not be an ideal platform for active traders or people who make frequent trades in and out of the market. If you are looking for a platform for active traders, keep on reading!

Click here to get started with M1 Finance!

2. Webull App

Webull is an investing app you probably have not heard of before, but it made our list for a number of good reasons. Webull is a commission free stock and ETF trading app. Webull is designed for the active trader who is looking for a more dynamic, research oriented interface. Webull has a variety of features that benefit traders such as technical indicators, research agency ratings, financial calendars and free margin trading as well as short selling. With easy access to margin, research tools, and live data, Webull has built an ideal platform for active traders.

Webull review investing simple
Webull Investing App

Webull is an app that is designed for the intermediate trader who already has some experience with the stock market. If you are a complete beginner, you might experience information overload. If you are a somewhat experienced trader, Webull will give you all of the data you will likely need.

Webull Free Stock Promotion!

If you sign up via our link, you will get a free stock worth up to $1,000! You don’t need to fund the account to get the stock, you just have to open it.

Click here to open an account and receive a FREE stock with Webull!

Webull Features

Technical Indicators: Webull has a variety of technical indicators available on the platform. You can choose from up to 22 technical indicators such as moving averages, relative strength indexes and more. Here is the full list in our complete Webull review.

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Webull Trading App

Virtual Trading Simulator: Webull has a very useful feature called the virtual trading simulator. This feature lets you create a virtual portfolio with fake money to test out strategies before risking real money. This is an ideal feature for someone just starting out, who may need to gain more investing knowledge and know how before investing real money.

Smart Alerts: Webull lets you set a variety of alerts for different holdings. You can be alerted when a price level is hit, or a rate of change has hit a defined level. There are also alerts for volume levels or changes, this can be useful for traders get a sense of where the stock may be headed in the short term.

Financial Calendar: The financial calendar feature keeps you informed on all the latest and upcoming financial news. Important events such as upcoming IPOs, dividend payouts and earnings releases are all provided to you in a calendar format on the Webull app.

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Webull News Stream

Margin Trading: Webull allows margin trading on its platform to certain users. You must have a minimum account balance of $2,000 to be approved for margin trading.

After Hours Trading: Webull offers after hours and premarket trading for free. You can trade securities from 4 am to 8 pm on the Webull platform offering more flexibility in placing trades.

Commission Free Short Selling: There are no trading commissions to short a stock in Webull. Short selling occurs in a margin account, but all trades are completely free.

The Verdict: Webull

Webull is a relatively new and growing trading platform, with new users discovering its unique functionality everyday. In most cases, Webull is an ideal platform for active traders looking to place trades 100% for free. With easy access to margin, research tools, and live data Webull has built a great platform for active traders.

If you sign up via our link, you will get a free stock worth up to $1,000! You don’t need to fund the account to get the stock, you just have to open it.

Click here to open an account and receive a FREE stock with Webull!

3. Robinhood App

Robinhood is one of the most well known commission free trading platforms. It is easy to use and targets the beginner investor who is looking to save money by avoiding commission costs. Robinhood allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and options commission free. The Robinhood user interface is simple and digestible and provides a good user experience for a complete beginner.

Robinhood Logo
Robinhood Investing App

What you will find after using Robinhood for a while is that the platform becomes very limiting. While it is easy for a beginner to use, you will probably outgrow it in a few months. The lack of sophisticated charting and technical/fundamental metrics is a common complaint among Robinhood users. On the other hand, Robinhood was designed to be a beginner friendly platform.

Robinhood Features

Commission Free Trading: Robinhood allows users to trade stocks, ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies completely free. All investors benefit from saving money on fees. This is specifically useful for active traders who make frequent day to day trades.

Simple Interface: Robinhood is known for its user friendly interface. Its application is easy to use and not overwhelming like other platforms can be. This may be a benefit for certain investors who are just starting out and would like a simple and easy to use platform. For investors looking to conduct more research and build trading strategies, you may find the Robinhood platform is fairly limited.

Robinhood Gold: Robinhood offers a subscription service called Robinhood Gold. In the Robinhood Gold plan, you have the ability to trade pre and post market starting at 9 am and ending at 6 pm. Robinhood Gold lets you trade on margin once your account has a $2,000 minimum balance. Robinhood Gold costs $10 to $15 per month for this service.

The Verdict: Robinhood

Robinhood is one of the most well known free investing platforms. Being one of the first, Robinhood has spread in popularity faster than many of its competitors. That being said, we believe Robinhood may lack features that other free trading platforms offer. For example, margin trading and after hours trading is offered for free by Webull. You can only access these features on the Robinhood Gold subscription platform which costs $10-$15 per month. Short selling and research tools are additional features offered by Webull that Robinhood does not provide on their platform. Robinhood’s greatest strength is it’s ease of use and accessibility compared to other similar trading platforms. Robinhood also lacks many of the automation features offered by M1 Finance.

FeatureM1 FinanceWebullRobinhood
Commission Free TradingYesYesYes
Account TypesIndividual Taxable, Joint, IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Trust AccountsIndividual TaxableIndividual Taxable
Account Minimum$100$0$0
InvestmentsStocks and ETFsStocks and ETFsStocks, ETFs, Options, Cryptocurrencies
Prebuilt PortfoliosYesNoNo
Automated RebalancingYesNoNo
Tax MinimizationYesNoNo
Fractional SharesYesNoNo
Short SellingNoYes (Commission Free!)No
After Hours TradingNoYes (For Free!)Yes (Robinhood Gold $10-$15 A Month)
Analyst Ratings NoYesNo
Technical IndicatorsNoYesNo
Virtual Trading SimulatorNoYesNo

Which App Is The Best?

Everyone has a different preference for the ideal features offered on their investing platform. We believe the best platform completely depends on what type of investor you are. If you are an experienced active trader who likes to make frequent trades then Webull may be a better fit for your investment style. For those of us who are passive long term investors, who don’t make frequent trades, then I would check out the M1 Finance platform. Robinhood may be the best platform for beginner investors or traders who are looking for a relatively easy to use platform. Dividend investors would likely lean toward M1 Finance as this platform allows automated reinvestment of dividends. Each platform has its own unique features. In the end they are all free so you can try all three platforms to see which one you like best.


LendingClub Review 2018: Best Peer To Peer Lending Platform?

Investing Simple is affiliated with LendingClub. This relationship does not influence our opinion of this platform.

LendingClub is a peer to peer lending platform that takes the bank out of the lending process. For the first time, borrowers and lenders can directly interact in transactions without the involvement of a bank or middle man. LendingClub makes sure the transaction is transparent and the terms of the agreement are being met. For borrowers, LendingClub allows you to shop for loans outside of the traditional financial institutions. For investors, LendingClub allows you to be the bank and earn interest on loans.

LendingClub is one of the most well known peer to peer lending services on the market today. In this article, we will discuss the features, benefits and drawbacks of using LendingClub for both investing and borrowing.

What Is Peer To Peer Lending?

Peer to peer lending is an alternative lending process that takes a new approach to traditional borrowing and lending. With peer to peer lending, you are essentially taking the middleman out of the picture. Lenders will directly lend money to borrowers who apply for a loan. Borrowers then pay back their loan over time, paying both interest and principle with each payment to the lender.

To reduce risk, each investor on LendingClub has the option to invest a minimum of $25 in each note. The investor then purchases 40 or more notes in order to diversify their portfolio and reduce risk. This will allow investors to spread risk across a number of notes. Rather than lending one person one thousand dollars, you will lend 40 different people $25 each. This greatly reduces risk for the investor in the case the borrower defaults on their loan. This is similar to diversifying investments in the stock market. You don’t want to have all of your eggs in one basket!

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Peer To Peer Lending Explained

Types Of Loans: Secured VS Unsecured (LendingClub)

There are many different types of loans available to borrowers. Most loans are categorized as secured loans versus unsecured loans. Secured loans are backed by collateral in the case the borrower cannot pay. Mortgages and auto loans are examples of secured loans. In the case of the borrower defaulting on the loan, the lender will receive the house or automobile as payment. This gives the investor more protection and less risk in lending money. Typically, secured loans command a lower interest rate as the risk is lower.

Unsecured loans are a type of loan that has no collateral property backing the loan. There are many different types of unsecured loans. Some examples of unsecured loans include credit cards or unsecured house improvement loans. Most institutions offer both secured and unsecured loans. Typically, secured loans will command a higher interest rate as the risk is higher.

LendingClub offers unsecured personal loans. This means you do not need to put up equity in your house or car in order to be approved for the loan. You can apply online to borrow money and be approved the next day without being tied up in collateralizing of the loan. This simplifies the application process for borrowing. As an investor, it is important to understand the risk involved with unsecured loans.

LendingClub For Investors

Investing Requirements

The minimum investment in LendingClub is $1,000 as well as a minimum of $25 to invest in any one note. Investors must be at least 18 years old and have their identity successfully verified by LendingClub. Certain states have specific net worth requirements to invest and LendingClub is not available in all states.

LendingClub Investor Account Types:

  • Individual
  • Joint Accounts
  • Trust Accounts
  • Corporate Accounts
  • Custodial/Minor Accounts
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Simple IRA

The retirement account types that are available on LendingClub are offered by a custodian IRA Services Trust Company (ISTC).

Click here to get started with LendingClub as an Investor!

LendingClub Note Structure

LendingClub offers a wide variety of notes on their platform. Each note is identified by its relative risk to the investor and rated from A to E. A being the highest quality notes and E being the lowest quality. Risk is identified by a set of criteria such as credit score, debt to income ratios, credit history and activity of the borrower. The higher the risk, the higher the interest rate on the note. Therefore investors who take higher risk and invest in E grade notes will have the highest interest rates. They also have the highest risk of losing part, if not all, of their investment.

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LendingClub Note Risk Profile

The minimum investment in LendingClub is $1,000 and a minimum of $25 for each note. This means you can invest in a wide variety of notes on the LendingClub platform in order to mitigate risk. In most cases, when investing in LendingClub notes it is safer to spread your investment across a number of notes. Rather than just purchasing a single note for one thousand dollars, you may want to invest in 40 separate notes in order to diversify risk. This way if one of your notes defaults, you will be protected by spreading bets across a number of notes.

Think about it… is it safer to lend 40 people $25 or 1 person $1,000?

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LendingClub Loans VS Notes

LendingClub Investing Strategies

When choosing the specific notes you would like to invest in, you have different options for investment strategies. LendingClub offers both manual and automated investments on their platform. You have the ability to manually select specific notes and perform any due diligence before investing in a single note. This is a good option for investors that are more hands on and would like to implement their own unique investment style. This manual investment strategy will allow you to hand pick each note.

LendingClub also offers automated investing on their platform. You will select your investment criteria and risk tolerance and LendingClub will automatically purchase notes on your behalf. This saves the investor time and applies a consistent investment approach across your portfolio. This approach is geared towards the passive investor.

Click here to get started with LendingClub as an Investor!

Investment Time Horizon

LendingClub recommends investors plan on holding their investments until maturity. Currently, LendingClub offers two time horizons for their notes; 36 months and 60 months. Since there is greater risk in notes that have longer maturities, the interest rates are slightly higher for 60 month notes compared to 36 month notes. You have the option to sell your notes before maturity on a secondary market, but liquidity is never guaranteed. You can buy and sell LendingClub notes to other investors on the Folio investing platform. This provides liquidity to investors and allows more flexible investing.

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LendingClub 36 VS 60 Month Notes

Account Fees

There is no application fee for LendingClub, however there are often origination fees that vary. These fees vary by the loan type and grade. Check with LendingClub to understand what origination fees may be involved.

LendingClub has certain transaction fees when investing on their platform. There are no fees when purchasing notes, however there is a 1% transaction fee whenever you receive payment from a borrower.

There are also fees when performing transactions on the Folio platform. There is a 1% fee for selling any notes on Folio.

LendingClub Investing Pros

  1. Offers an alternative investment, less correlated to the stock market.
  2. Diversification is easily achieved by investing in many different notes.
  3. You can set up automatic investing on LendingClub.
  4. Exposure to an asset traditionally reserved for the banks.

LendingClub Investing Cons

  1. There is a 1% fee for every payment received from LendingClub.
  2. Loans are unsecured, meaning higher risk for lenders in the case of a default by a borrower.
  3. All investment as at risk, investors have no FDIC protection or guarantees of investment returns.
  4. All interest earned is taxed as ordinary income and not capital gains tax rates.

LendingClub Investing: The Bottom Line

LendingClub allows investors to diversify by investing in an asset class traditionally reserved for banks. Since LendingClub is a private investment, shares or notes are not traded on a major exchange. As a result, this asset class may be less correlated to the overall stock market. One negative of investing in interest bearing assets such as peer to peer lending is that all interest is taxed as ordinary income and not at capital gains tax rates. If you plan on investing in LendingClub, you may want to consider investing in a tax sheltered retirement account.

Click here to get started with LendingClub as an Investor!

LendingClub For Borrowers

LendingClub has a wide variety of borrowing options. You have the ability to take out personal loans, business loans as well as medical and auto loans. You can apply for the loan directly online, avoiding any need to spend time at your local bank.

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LendingClub Loans Offered

LendingClub Loan Process

  1. First, complete the personal loan application online here.
  2. LendingClub will analyze your application and pull your credit score. This will be a soft inquiry and it will have no impact on your score.
  3. You will be assigned a risk grade from A to E depending on factors such as your credit score, debt to income ratio, credit history and activity.
  4. You will be presented with a variety of loan offers. The interest rate will depend on your risk grade.
  5. Your loan will be broken up into notes and sold to investors.
  6. After all the parties agree to the note, your loan will be delivered to you in cash shortly after.
  7. Once you apply and accept the loan offer you will receive your personal loan in a lump sum, it only takes a few days to get your money. LendingClub claims it could even be the next day.

LendingClub Personal Loans

LendingClub personal loans are available to individuals looking to borrow up to $40,000. Personal loans are installment loans made to individuals who can repay the loan at a fixed rate every month. Personal loans are frequently taken out to refinance existing debt, make home improvements, finance major purchases or even for travel.

Personal loans offered through LendingClub allow investors to access credit in an easy way that is convenient to borrowers. As mentioned above, all LendingClub loans are unsecured. This means that you will not need to put up collateral such as a house or car to be approved for the loan.

The interest rate you receive on your loan will depend on your risk grade. Ranging from A (being the best) to E (being the worst). Most A loans have around an average of a 6.95% APR, while E loans can be as high as 35.89% APR.

Click here to apply for a Personal Loan through LendingClub!

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LendingClub Personal Loan Process

LendingClub Business Loans

LendingClub offers both business loans and business lines of credit for business owners. You can borrow up to $300,000 for your business allowing you to fund projects, hire new employees, consolidate debt or expand entirely. The terms for business loans are between 1 to 5 years. Interest rates vary based on your risk ranking. Annual Percentage Rates (APR) can range from 5.99% for the best borrowers to 32% for at risk borrowers.

All business loans are fixed rate loans meaning your interest rate will stay the same over time. All business loans have no prepayment penalties, so you can pay off your loan early if you’d like.

LendingClub requires certain qualifications to be met in order to be approved for a business loan. Here are some of the qualifications…

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LendingClub Business Loan Qualifications

Click here to apply for a Business Loan through LendingClub!

LendingClub Medical Loans/Patient Solutions

LendingClub offers a variety of different medical care loans. The types of loans offered include fixed rate plans, no interest plans and promotional rate plans. These loans can be used for a variety of different treatments and procedures. Some examples include, dentistry, fertility, hair restoration and bariatric surgery.

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LendingClub Medical Loans

Click here to apply for a Medical Loan through LendingClub!

LendingClub Borrowing Pros

  1. Easy application process and access to funds within a week, sometimes sooner!
  2. No hard inquiry on your credit score.
  3. LendingClub is transparent about fees.
  4. No early payoff penalties.

LendingClub Borrowing Cons

  1. Origination fees for all loans can vary between 1% to 6%.
  2. There is a check processing fee of $7 if you pay your monthly payment by check.
  3. Possible more attractive interest rates offered elsewhere.

LendingClub Borrowing: The Bottom Line

LendingClub offers a unique service that benefits both borrowers and investors on their platform. The rise of peer to peer lending has brought about a wave of new technology that has removed the middle man from lending. If you are looking for a personal loan, business loan or medical loan you should see what kind of rate you get offered through LendingClub. There is no application fee and no hard credit inquiry. When it comes to obtaining any kind of loan, you should always shop around and look for the best rate.

Click here to apply for a Personal Loan through LendingClub!


Disclaimer: All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.
†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

Best Free Investing Platform? (Webull VS Robinhood 2018)

Investing Simple is affiliated with Webull. This relationship does not influence our opinion of this platform.

Over the last decade or more, the commission costs for trading stocks have tremendously decreased. Now, we are at a point where commission free trading is available on many different platforms. For the average retail investor, there has never been a better time to invest with these free cutting edge platform. These advances in technology and systems have allowed platforms such as Webull and Robinhood to thrive. These are two of the most popular free investing platforms out there today. In this article, we are going to compare the Webull and Robinhood platforms. We will be identifying where each platform shines as well as where each platform could improve.

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What Is Webull?

Webull is a commission free stock and ETF trading platform. Webull is designed for the active trader who is looking for a more dynamic user interface. Webull has a variety of features that benefit traders such as technical indicators, research agency ratings, financial calendars and free margin trading as well as short selling. With easy access to margin, research tools, and live data, Webull has built an ideal platform for active traders. Check out our detailed review of Webull here.

Webull is a platform that is designed for the intermediate trader who already has some experience with the stock market. If you are a complete beginner, you might experience information overload. If you are a somewhat experienced trader, Webull will give you all of the data you will likely need.

Webull review investing simple
Webull Trading App

Webull Free Stock Promotion!

If you sign up via our link, you will get a free stock worth up to $1,000! You don’t need to fund the account to get the stock, you just have to open it.

Click here to open an account with Webull!

Webull Features

Technical Indicators: Webull has a variety of technical indicators available on the platform. You can choose from up to 22 technical indicators such as moving averages, relative strength indexes and more. Here is the full list in our complete Webull review.

Virtual Trading Simulator: Webull has a useful feature called the virtual trading simulator. This feature lets you create a virtual portfolio with fake money to test out strategies before risking real money. This is an ideal feature for someone just starting out, who may need to gain more investing knowledge and know how before investing real money.

Smart Alerts: Webull lets you set a variety of alerts for different holdings. You can be alerted when a price level is hit, or a rate of change has hit a defined level. There are also alerts for volume levels or changes, this can be useful for traders get a sense of where the stock may be headed in the short term.

Financial Calendar: The financial calendar feature keeps you informed on all the latest and upcoming financial news. Important events such as upcoming IPOs, dividend payouts, and earnings releases are all provided to you in a calendar format on the Webull platform.

Margin Trading: Webull allows margin trading on its platform to certain users. You must have a minimum account balance of $2,000 to be approved for margin trading. Below are the margin interest rates charged by Webull…

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Webull Margin Rates

After Hours Trading: Webull offers after hours and premarket trading. You can trade securities from 4 am to 8 pm on the Webull platform offering more flexibility in placing trades.

Commission Free Short Selling: There are no trading commissions to short a stock in Webull. Short selling occurs in a margin account, but all trades are completely free.

What is Robinhood?

Robinhood is one of the most well known commission free trading platforms. It is easy to use and targets the beginner investor who is looking to save money by avoiding commission costs. Robinhood allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and options commission free. The Robinhood user interface is simple and digestible and provides a good user experience.

What you will find after using Robinhood for a while is that the platform becomes very limiting. While it is easy for a beginner to use, you will probably outgrow it in a few months. The lack of sophisticated charting and technical/fundamental metrics is a common complaint among Robinhood users. On the other hand, Robinhood was designed to be a beginner friendly platform.

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Robinhood Features

Commission Free Trading: Robinhood allows users to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency completely free. All investors benefit from saving money on fees. This is specifically useful for active traders who make frequent day to day trades.

Simple Interface: Robinhood is known for its user friendly interface. Its application is easy to use and not overwhelming like other platforms can be. This may be a benefit for certain investors who are just starting out and would like a simple and easy to use platform. For investors looking to conduct more research and build trading strategies, you may find the Robinhood platform is fairly limited.

Robinhood Gold: Robinhood offers a subscription service called Robinhood Gold. In the Robinhood Gold platform you have the ability to trade pre and post market starting at 9 am and ending at 6 pm. Robinhood Gold lets you trade on margin once your account has a $2,000 minimum balance. Robinhood Gold costs $10 to $15 per month for this service.

Webull VS Robinhood

Commission Free TradingYesYes
Margin TradingYesOffered on Robinhood Gold subscription $10-$15 per month
Account TypesIndividual TaxableIndividual Taxable
Account Minimum$0$0
Short SellingYesNo
Technical IndicatorsYesNo
Virtual Trading SimulatorYesNo
Trading PlatformApp based, Desktop coming in 2019App and Desktop
Investment ResearchYesBasic, No
InvestmentsStocks, ETFsStocks, ETFs, Crypto, Options
Analyst RatingsYesNo
After Hours Trading4am to 8pm ESTOffered on Robinhood Gold subscription $10-$15 per month

The Verdict

Webull and Robinhood have a similar approach to a commission free brokerage, but both have a variety of different features. Webull is still relatively small with just over a million downloads on Android, but is growing significantly. That being said, we believe Webull has a stronger platform than Robinhood for the active trader. The variety of features such as research tools, technical indicators, and free after/pre market trading puts it above Robinhood in user experience. Robinhood may be a good platform for someone who is a beginner investor and wants a simple and easy to use platform. Both platforms are free so you can give both a try and see which one meets your needs.

Webull Free Stock Promotion!

If you sign up via our link, you will get a free stock worth up to $1,000! You don’t need to fund the account to get the stock, you just have to open it.

Click here to open an account with Webull!

Webull Review 2018: Best Commission Free Stock Trading Platform?

Investing Simple is affiliated with Webull. This relationship does not influence our opinion of this platform.

A number of online brokerages and investing apps have popped up over the last few years. Some of them offering great platforms to their users, others being frustrating and unbearable to use. Webull is a new platform that has great potential for being the next big free trading platform. This app has not been talked about as much as platforms like Robinhood, but it should not be overlooked. In this article we will outline our experience with Webull as well as the strengths and weaknesses of this platform.

Platform Highlights

  • 100% commission free trading
  • Free short selling
  • Free after hours/extended hours trading
  • Easy access to margin
  • Research oriented platform with many advanced features

If you sign up via our link, you will get a free stock worth up to $1,000! You don’t need to fund the account to get the stock, you just have to open it.

Click here to open an account with Webull!

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Webull Investing App

What Is Webull?

Webull is a mobile trading platform designed to save you money and get you the trading data you need. Webull accomplishes this goal by offering completely free trading of stocks and ETFs. By offering real time data and the most current quotation prices, Webull provides traders with a sufficient platform for trading directly on their phone. Webull is a platform designed for the research oriented active trader.

Where other investing apps are often “dumbed down” and oversimplified, Webull offers access to more advanced tools on the platform. Some of these features include virtual trading simulators, financial calendars, rating agency reports, technical indicators, and after hours trading. For some, this is a pro! For others, this is a con.

If you are completely new to the stock market and investing, Webull is probably going to be too complicated for you. It might be like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose. For those who have already gained investing experience and used competing platforms like Robinhood, Webull could be a breath of fresh air. Many of the features missing from Robinhood have found a home on the Webull investing platform.

What Are The Features?

Real Time Market Data: Webull offers real time market data for all US markets. This ensures you are viewing consistent real prices in real time, making sure you are making the right investment decisions based on accurate data. This feature is extremely important for active traders who need price accuracy down to the penny.

You may also have access to real time global market data on the Webull platform. There is a monthly fee for this feature. This is charged on a monthly subscription basis and the fee differs by market.

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Webull Real Time Market Data

News Stream: Webull offers real time financial news through the news stream feature. Articles from Reuters and Bloomberg and other financial institutions are available through this feature. This can be extremely helpful in getting the most up to date news articles and possibly making important trades on breaking news for specific companies. This feature provides a single location to view financial news as well as providing a mixed collection of high quality content giving you a variety of different points of view on specific topics.

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Webull News Stream

Virtual Trading Simulator: Webull offers a virtual trading simulator on their platform in order to learn new investing strategies without any risk. This is a valuable feature if you are trying out new trading strategies you’ve never used before. It can also be helpful in testing out a simulated portfolio before risking any real money. Anyone who is new to investing should first start out by using a trading simulator. This way you can gain experience and knowledge without taking any real risk. Webull is one of the first platforms to offer a built in trading simulator!

Agency Ratings: Another feature offered by Webull is the ability to track and see professional analyst ratings on certain stocks. Rated stocks will have a number of ratings by professional rating agencies and firms. They will rank the company as a buy, sell, or hold and sometimes ratings in between.

The screenshot below shows a company with 40 analyst ratings as well as the trend over time. Institutional analyst ratings can give you an idea of what Wall Street is saying about a certain company or fund.

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Webull Analyst Ratings

Smart Alerts: Webull gives you the ability to set a variety of smart alerts that will notify you if a specific holding hits a defined price, moves a defined percentage, or has reached a specific volume level. These smart alerts can provide a system for executing trades at a certain price level or after a series of volume or price changes. Tools like this allow traders to be more effective and efficient when trying to execute trades over a period of time.

Financial Calendar: Webull offers a financial calendar that keeps you informed on upcoming financial news for the month. The financial calendar tools keeps track of upcoming IPOs, earnings releases, and which companies are about to pay out dividends. This tool provides a consolidated calendar of events, keeping you informed on upcoming market events all on one screen.

Margin Trading: Webull offers easy access to margin trading on the platform. You must have a minimum account balance of $2,000 to be approved for margin trading. When trading on margin you are virtually pledging the assets within your account as collateral to borrow money and invest it in more securities. Webull will lend you these funds for a fee at a specific interest rate. If your account drops below $2,000 you run the risk of a margin call and forced liquidation of your funds. Margin creates leverage which could increase potential returns, but carries significant risk as it could also amplify losses.

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Webull Margin Rates

Technical Indicators: Webull prides itself on the usability of its platform for serious traders. Many traders use technical price indicators to indicate ideal buy and sell levels. The platform gives you access to 22 technical indicators for developing trading strategies.

Here is the list of technical indicators on Webull…

  • Moving Average (MA)
  • Exponential Moving Average (EMA)
  • Bollinger Bands (BOLL)
  • IC
  • Volume (VOL)
  • Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)
  • KDJ
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI)
  • Rate Of Change (ROC)
  • Displaced Moving Average (DMA)
  • Fast Stochastics (FSTO)
  • Keltner Channels (KC)
  • Aroon Indicator (AROON)
  • Trend Strength Indicator (ADX)
  • Average True Range (ATR)
  • Commodity Channel Index (CCI)
  • CC
  • Detrended Price Oscillator (DPO)
  • Ultimate Oscillator (UOS)
  • Directional Movement Index (DMI)
  • Heikin Ashi
  • Money Flow Index (MFI)

As you can imagine, this can be quite overwhelming for a complete beginner. Webull is not a trading platform that is designed for beginners. The ideal user for Webull is someone who is actively trading with some prior experience with trading and technical analysis. If you are brand new to the stock market, you should consider a more beginner friendly app.

After Hours Trading: Webull offers after hours trading completely free. You can trade from 4 am to 8 pm, giving you more flexibility when placing trades. Robinhood also offers extended hours trading, but is limited to a shorter window from 9 am to 6 pm.

Commission Free Short Selling: Webull is one of the only platforms that allows you to place long and short trades commission free. Short selling will have to take place in a margin account, but you will not pay any commission when placing these trades.

What Are The Fees?

All buys and sells on Webull are 100% free, including short selling!

There are fees charged by the SEC and FINRA for each trade. These fees are charged on every trade across all brokerages. The SEC charges a $13 fee on $1 million of principal (sells only) with a minimum fee of $.01 and FINRA charges $0.000119 per share (sells only), a minimum of $.01, and no greater than $5.95.

Fees For Stock Transfers: ACATS Incoming: $0; ACATS Outgoing: $75

Account Types: Individual taxable brokerage accounts, eligible margin accounts

Requirements And Customer Service: You must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid social security number to open an account with Webull. Webull is one of the only free platforms that offers customer service over the phone as well as through email and a live chat feature.

How To Open A Webull Account

  1. Download Webull App and sign up for Webull. Use this link to get a free stock worth up to $1000!
  2. Tap “Trade” tab to start opening account.
  3. Choose your account type.
  4. Provide your information.
  5. Accept the Terms and Conditions.

Once you have submitted your application, you will be notified of approval by email approximately within one hour. If you use the link above, you will get your free stock as soon as your application is approved.

Webull also has a phone number so you can speak to an actual human being about your account. One common complaint with Robinhood is the lack of customer service and the inability to speak to someone about your account. With Webull, you have the option to call them directly if you do not understand something or need a question answered.

Is Webull Safe For Investors?

Webull is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which insures investor’s accounts up to $500,000 ($250,000 in cash). Webull also has additional coverage under its clearing firm Apex. The plan provides an additional $150 million in coverage for securities and cash, subject to a maximum of $37.5 million for each individual investor’s securities ($900,000 in cash).

You can read the BrokerCheck report for Webull here.

Webull Strengths

  1. Advanced charts and research tools.
  2. Free short selling and extended hours trading.
  3. News stream.
  4. Free trading simulator.
  5. Phone and live chat support.

Webull Weaknesses

  1. Web-based platform is currently limited to live quotes. Webull is aiming to add trading to their website in 2019.
  2. App design needs improvement. It can feel complex and overwhelming to use.
  3. Not for beginner investors. Many of the features are for more experienced traders.
  4. No retirement accounts.
  5. No prebuilt portfolios.

The Verdict

Webull is an excellent platform for active traders who would like access to a moderately advanced trading platform without paying a monthly subscription or commission fees on trades. The features offered by Webull such as technical indicators, price alerts, and commission free trading all benefit the active trader. The amount of research you can perform on the Webull platform is also a tremendous advantage. Webull would not be an ideal platform for a beginner investor. Most of the features and analysis on the platform may be overwhelming for someone just starting out. Webull does not provide any prebuilt portfolios like many other roboadvisors do, such as M1 Finance and Betterment. Webull may not be an ideal platform for a passive investor, but they are an ideal trading platform for the on the go trader.

If you sign up via our link, you will get a free stock worth up to $1,000! You don’t need to fund the account to get the stock, you just have to open it.

Click here to open an account with Webull!

Affilate Marketing For Beginners: How To START In 2019! (With ODi Productions)

Investing Simple is affiliated with Affiliate Marketing Champ by Odi Productions.

Recently, I had the pleasure of spending some time in beautiful San Diego California where I met up with a number of different YouTubers and online entrepreneurs. While I was there, I spent a lot of time talking with Odi aka “ODi Productions” on YouTube.

Odi is an affiliate marketer, and he has been doing this for around 6 years. One of the most interesting things I noticed about Odi while I was on this trip was how little he actually did. Now I am not saying that he is lazy, but he has a business model that most people would call perfect. Odi is able to work when he wants to, and on the days he does not work the money continues to flow in.

While the other entrepreneurs I was meeting with scrambled to put out fires, Odi just watched us while eating a pack of Gushers. On that day alone, Odi made $1,397 in passive income. 

A few of us convinced Odi to start a series on YouTube where he shows people exactly what he is doing in a given day and how much money he is making. It is honestly hard to believe that you can make $1,000 a day doing next to nothing. Odi started this series, dubbed “Real Passive Income” the following day.

Here is Episode 1 of Real Passive Income…

Before we go any further, let’s go ahead and cover the very basics for those who are completely new to all of this.

“Passive Income” – Income from a source where the earner is not actively involved.

I’m actually not a huge fan of this definition. It makes it seem like the earner was never involved with this source of income. It also gives people the unrealistic expectation that income is earned from doing absolutely nothing. Yes, Odi did nothing on a given day and made over $1,000. But what is important is what Odi spent the last 6 years doing.

My favorite definition of passive income is that it is income from your past efforts. Odi earned that money on that particular day from the hard work he had done in previous years. It is unrealistic to expect to be paid money having done absolutely nothing in the first place. Passive income requires a lot of upfront effort.

“Affiliate Marketing” – Commission is paid to affiliates for bringing in business.

As an affiliate, you are working with other people and businesses. You are bringing them valuable traffic and customers and in return they pay you a commission on the sale. While the interest in affiliate marketing has grown significantly in recent years, it is actually a relatively old business model.

Have you ever made a recommendation to someone and they followed up with it and made a purchase or became a client of a medical professional? You were actually an affiliate marketer. Hopefully you got paid!

That is essentially what an affiliate marketer does. They make recommendations. The internet has made affiliate marketing a lot easier, because now instead of worrying about discount codes or name dropping we have tracking links. A tracking link has a tracking cookie which keeps track of the traffic to a site and retains it.

This might seem complicated, but don’t worry it will all make sense shortly!

Each tracking cookie has a cookie duration. This tells you how long the affiliate action is valid for. For some affiliate programs, this is 24 hours. For others, this could be 365 days or a lifetime.

Take the Amazon Associates affiliate program for example. The cookie duration for this affiliate program is 24 hours. If someone visits Amazon from your site and makes a purchase within 24 hours, you get credit even if they left the site in the meantime.

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Amazon Associates Dashboard

In a nutshell, that is exactly what people like Odi are doing. They are getting paid for recommendations. The difference between Odi and most people doing this is that Odi is REALLY good at it.

While I was with Odi, we sat down and recorded three videos together to teach others some of the basics of affiliate marketing. I am going to include those videos in this article as well as a summary of what was discussed below each video. At the end of the video, Odi mentions a free course that he offers on affiliate marketing. I will include a link to his free course at the bottom of each video.

VIDEO 1: How To Earn PASSIVE INCOME With Affiliate Marketing In 2019

Odi’s FREE Affiliate Marketing Course For Beginners! (Start Here)

Odi was born and raised in San Diego. He is currently 25 years old. When he was 19 years old, he was starting college and like many people he was looking at different ways of making money online.

Odi attributes a lot of his success to a book called The Millionaire Fastlane by Mj DeMarco. This changed Odi’s mindset and made him realize that working for every dollar that you earn was a losing strategy. As soon as he learned that trading his time for money was a losing game, he started looking for ways to make passive income.

“Active Income” – Income earned by performing a service.

Most people are only earning active income. Typically, this is the income from your job. It can also be the income from your business if you are simply a technician working in the business (reference to The E Myth).

Here are the main problems with earning active income…

  1. You only earn money while you are active. If this is a 9 to 5 job, you earn money for 8 hours and for the other 16 hours you earn nothing.
  2. Most people who earn active income earn it from one source. If that source goes away (aka you lose your job) you stop earning income.
  3. Most people want to stop working eventually. When you do that, you will stop earning income if you never build passive income streams.
  4. Active income typically ties you down to one location and requires you to work when it is convenient for your boss, not you.
  5. Only one source of active income can be earned at a time. You can’t be in two different places at once!

Personally, I learned similar lessons from the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. (And yes, these are affiliate links! Once you get started with affiliate marketing, you will learn that every penny counts.)

Odi learned this lesson about earning active income at 19 and I learned this lesson at 20. Odi and I are very grateful that we were exposed to this important lesson early on in life. Most people never learn about the downside of actively working for every dollar they earn, aka earning active income.

Once Odi learned about this, he started looking to create automated systems that would run on their own once they were set up. Online businesses allow you to create systems that work without you working actively on them. For example, if you create a digital product like an ebook, you only have to make it once. After that, it can generate income for years to follow.

Once Odi got this idea in his head, he became obsessed with earning passive income and decided to learn more about affiliate marketing. At that point, he stumbled upon someone named Pat Flynn. Pat has a blog called Smart Passive Income where he talks about everything related to passive income, including affiliate marketing.

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Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income

What you will find when educating yourself about passive income is that the methods for earning passive income differ in terms of the work involved. Some business models are more passive than others. The most passive method for earning income is dividends. You simply invest your money into a collection of stocks that pay dividends and the money comes in on a regular basis.

There is one HUGE problem with earning passive income from dividends and that is the fact that it takes money to make money. As a young person especially, you do not have a lot of money sitting around. What you do have, in most cases, is time. Affiliate marketing is very time consuming at first, but once you get the ball rolling it can be extremely passive.

In my opinion, affiliate marketing is the second most passive form of earning income next to earning income from dividend stocks.

When Odi was first exploring the idea of having an online business, he looked at ecommerce as well. The main problem he saw with ecommerce was that he was limited to restrictions working with physical products. For example, if you are selling products on Amazon and you run out of inventory, you are stuck waiting for another shipment from overseas.

With digital products, there is no inventory and there are no restrictions. Odi learned about how Pat Flynn was earning money as an affiliate for web hosting services and email marketing software. In a nutshell, Pat Flynn was getting paid A LOT for posting links.

Most of the biggest companies in the world today use affiliate marketing. One of the largest and most well known affiliate programs is Amazon Associates. Beyond that, most other companies have programs as well.

Search “COMPANY affiliate program” in Google to see for yourself!

Odi loves the business model of affiliate marketing because it is a win-win-win. As an affiliate, you get to promote real products and services that you love and use everyday. For example, if you are a fan of Bose headphones or speakers you can join their affiliate program and earn commission on sales of these products you love.

Bose wins because they are selling more products.

You win as the affiliate because you earned a commission.

The buyer wins because they get to enjoy a great product.

One of the problems Odi has with other businesses out there is that you are selling cheap products. For example, with dropshipping you are selling products from China. If you are doing it right, you are buying the products, taking your own photos and warehousing them here in the United States. Unfortunately, a lot of people are simply dropshipping out of China which makes for a very poor customer experience. The shipping time is often weeks, not days and the quality control is non existent. As the dropshipper, you have no idea what the product is like if you have never put your hands on it.

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This iPhone case from AliExpress has a 20 to 39 day shipping time!

MYTH: “Affiliate marketing is too saturated.”

Affiliate marketing can never truly be saturated, meaning it can never be too late to get started. At the end of the day, it is just a form of marketing that can be applied to any niche out there. Even if you are working in one niche, you can pivot into something else entirely if it is not working for you anymore. Once you learn the skills involved with affiliate marketing, the possibilities are endless.

Affiliate marketing is a very easy business model to get started with. You can start for free or even with as little as $100. Once you learn the marketing skills required to be successful with affiliate marketing, you can apply these elsewhere!

Because affiliate marketing is so passive, you can move on to other businesses as well in your spare time. For some people, this is a great option. Odi spends his spare time working on other businesses as well as making beats. For others, you are looking to free up your time so you can spend it elsewhere. Affiliate marketing is not the end all be all business model. For most people, it is just the beginning.

Odi’s first trial at affiliate marketing was a site called Recording Now that is still earning him income to this day. On this site, Odi reviewed headphones as well as other audio recording equipment. Odi earned money from this site by referring sales of these products to Amazon. By giving honest reviews of these headphones, he has helped people make a better informed decision about their purchase and earned a commission in the process.

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Odi’s first site recordingnow.com

Headphones are one of the higher commission products in the Amazon Associates program. Each product category has a different commission rate. Certain categories, like headphones, pay higher commissions. Amazon Associates is a good affiliate program for beginners because you can promote almost any product on Amazon, but the affiliate commission is actually lower than what most others pay.

There are a number of pros of working with the Amazon Associates program…

  1. Chances are, most people are already a customer of Amazon.
  2. The buyer likely has a lot of trust for the Amazon platform.
  3. The buyer likely has stored payment information and can purchase with the click of a button.

If you refer sales to a site people are not familiar with, the trust will be significantly lower and the customer will likely have to manually fill out the payment information. These factors will lower your conversion rate.

If you are looking to make explosive income with affiliate marketing, you will have to find affiliate programs outside of Amazon Associates and establish affiliate relationships directly with companies. Even if a company does not have an affiliate program, you should reach out to them to see if they would offer you a personal one.

At the end of the day, as an honest affiliate marketer you need to be most concerned with the consumer getting the right product. On his site, Odi did not simply give the most expensive headphones the best review. While this would likely result in higher commissions, it would be dishonest and he would lose the trust of his customers.

Odi has a natural interest in music, as he produces his own beats on the side as a hobby. This is a passion of his.

Odi did not simply pick the headphone niche because it was profitable. He picked this niche because he had a natural interest in the product. If you do not have a natural interest in your niche, you will burn out. Building up an affiliate blog takes a lot of work, and you need to stay interested and engaged through the process. Odi believes in starting with passion.

“The reason why you are looking to make money is to live a certain lifestyle. If you are doing something that you do not enjoy each day, that is not a good lifestyle choice. This will more than likely result in a burn out.” – Odi

This headphone blog was what got Odi started with and hooked on affiliate marketing. It is not what made him the most money, but it got the gears turning for him. Odi was able to scale this blog up to a full time income which allowed him to drop out of UCLA to spend his time building other passive income streams through affiliate marketing.

The fatal mistake people make when getting started with affiliate marketing is overestimating what is possible in the short term and underestimating what is possible in the long term. Odi did not make any money from his blog for the first year, but he loved what he was doing so he kept at it. You cannot expect to get rich quick with affiliate marketing.

VIDEO 2: How Odi Productions Makes $1,000+ A DAY With Affiliate Marketing [EARNINGS PROOF]

Odi’s FREE Affiliate Marketing Course For Beginners! (Start Here)

There are a lot of people out there claiming to be making $100 or $1,000 a day doing something, but very few are willing to let you take a look at the numbers. On top of that, a lot of people are just showing you revenue and not the actual profit of the business. Three of the most popular online businesses right now are affiliate marketing, dropshipping and Amazon FBA.

In Real Passive Income, Odi mentions that he has a 90% profit margin on the numbers you are seeing here. Odi spends a very limited amount of money on ad spend. Other than that, it is pure profit. Odi spends about $80 to $100 a day on ads.

Here is a comparison of the margins of these three businesses…

Affiliate Marketing = 90% or more ($0.90+ out of every $1 is profit)

Amazon FBA = 40% ($0.40 out of every $1 is profit)

Dropshipping = 25% ($0.25 out of every $1 is profit)

Affiliate marketing is one of the highest profit margin online businesses. Understand that when you see people showing revenue numbers for Amazon FBA and dropshipping that they are only earning a small portion as profit.

Here is a comparison of $10,000 earned across each business…

Affiliate Marketing = $9,000 profit or more ($1,000 expenses)

Amazon FBA = $4,000 profit ($6,000 expenses)

Dropshipping = $2,500 profit ($7,500 expenses)

Odi typically does not share much about his earnings with affiliate marketing, because at the end of the day it isn’t anyones business. Odi agreed to share some earnings figures with us to be as honest and transparent as possible.

Odi has been earning over $1,000 a day in profit from affiliate marketing for close to 3 years now. In total, he has been involved with affiliate marketing for a total of 6 years as he started while he was in college. Odi has had consistent success with affiliate marketing and this has not been a flash in the pan success online. It is rare to see this level of consistency with any online business.

12:33am Affiliate Commission #1: $150

Odi received an email regarding this affiliate commission in the middle of the night. He was literally making money while he was asleep. Most affiliate marketing programs send you emails each time you earn a commission.

2:26am Affiliate Commission #2: $750

Odi received his second affiliate commission of the day again before he got out of bed. In the middle of the night, he made $900 while he was asleep.

Yesterday 11:53am Affiliate Commission: $14,000 (Not counted towards total)

The most impressive commission shown was a payment from the past two weeks in the amount of $14,000. Odi earns $1,000 a day from this one affiliate income source alone. Odi mentioned to me that you really only need one good affiliate income source, but the more you have the better diversified you are.

(No time specified) Affiliate Commission #3: $497

This particular affiliate program does not specify when a commission is received. This is the ClickFunnels affiliate dashboard and Odi earned this commission by referring a sale to a digital product.

In total, Odi earned $1,397 for the day in passive income. This does not represent the total earnings for Odi. This is only the portion that is passive. Odi also earns income selling his own online course Affiliate Marketing Champ as well as from his other business ventures.

It is really hard to believe how passive affiliate marketing can be until you see it firsthand. Odi spent the day with me cruising around in his dream car, a twin turbo Lamborghini (video included below). We met up at a fellow entrepreneurs house, recorded a few videos and then had lunch. After that, Odi dropped me off and the day was complete. Odi did not put any effort towards these three income sources but they continued to churn out money.

Here is Odi’s car…

Each of these three sources of income shown in this video are typically over the $10,000 mark each month. Odi mentions that he is earning closer to $2,000 a day from these products on an average day. In terms of expenses, Odi is spending about $20 to $30 a day on each in ad spend.

Odi typically sees a 96% profit margin with his business. This is primarily due to the fact that as an affiliate you are not touching any products. The reason why the margins are lower for dropshipping and Amazon FBA is because you have to fulfill orders and in some cases touch the actual products. It is very uncommon to find a dropshipper with a 90% profit margin or more.

With affiliate marketing, your operating costs do not increase based on the volume of sales. Let’s say you have an affiliate blog and these are your expenses for the business.

Web Hosting = $10 a month

Domain Name = $1 a month

Ad Spend = $600 a month

Your total expenses or operating costs are $611 a month. Let’s say your blog reviews peer to peer lending sites, and each referral earns you a $50 commission.

January = 120 referrals, $6,000 revenue – $611 expenses

PROFIT = $5,389 (90% profit margin)

February = 133 referrals, $6,650 revenue – $611 expenses

PROFIT = $6,039 (91% profit margin)

March = 129 referrals, $6,450 revenue – $611 expenses

PROFIT = $5,839 (91% profit margin)

Assuming the ad spend stays the same, the operating expenses of an affiliate marketing business are constant. It does not matter how many referrals you earn commission on, it does not change your expenses. There are very few businesses out there that operate in this way. If you have more sales with a dropshipping or Amazon FBA business, you are buying more inventory and your expenses grow with sales.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most lean business models out there…

  • You don’t touch any inventory.
  • You don’t ship or warehouse anything.
  • You don’t have employees unless you want them.
  • You don’t handle any customer service questions.
  • Your operating expenses are constant and do not grow with sales.

As mentioned earlier, Odi has been extremely consistent with his online business. This has not been a flash in the pan success for him. Odi has been earning $1,000 a day in profit or more for close to 3 years.

THE TRUTH: How To Be Successful With Affiliate Marketing

Odi has been extremely successful with affiliate marketing by establishing brands around his affiliate platforms. By doing so, he is able to become a credible and authoritative source for valuable information. This type of reputation comes slowly over time. By establishing a brand and building trust and authority, you have staying power in the market you are serving. This is a major reason why Odi has had continued success with affiliate marketing. If you do not establish brands with your sites or platforms, your audience will not be loyal to them.

The number one lesson Odi teaches to his students is to give value at the core of everything you do. The goal is not to make money. The goal is to add a tremendous amount of value and bring the customer through your purchasing experience.

Odi was a customer of all of these headphones before he began writing articles about them on his blog. He understood what the customer journey was like and was able to offer the audience tremendous value. In doing so, he established trust and rapport with the audience. This is absolutely essential if you are looking to have long term success with affiliate marketing.

Add value first. Money is the after thought.

Odi went from making $0 a day to $1,000 a day with affiliate marketing over the course of 3 years. While this does not seem like a long time, it is important to realize that Odi spent a long time earning next to nothing for his efforts. This again is why Odi tells his students to start with passion.

From age 19 to 20, Odi did not earn a single cent from his online business efforts. He was going through a trial and error process trying to find a business model he wanted to run with. Odi had a lot of failed attempts in this stage, but he learned something from each mistake.

In year 2, Odi began to earn money but it was nothing to brag about. At that point in time, he was making around $20 to $30 a month. This was exciting however because this was a proof of concept that his business actually worked. All he had to do was scale it.

“The first sale is always the hardest. Once you can see that it is possible, sparks fly and your imagination starts running wild.” – Odi

These are the kinds of results you can see when you dedicate years of your life to something, not just days. Odi’s success with affiliate marketing is not typical, as most people give up early on. You need to see the long term vision.

VIDEO 3: How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing With $100 OR LESS!

Odi’s FREE Affiliate Marketing Course For Beginners! (Start Here)

Affiliate marketing is a rare business because it does not require a lot of upfront capital. If you are spending a ton of money on your affiliate marketing business, you are probably doing something wrong. What it takes instead is an investment of your time. In this final video, Odi shares two methods on how you can get started with affiliate marketing

Method #1: How To Start For FREE

When Odi got started with affiliate marketing, he followed this method and started for free. If he were to start over today, he would recommend creating a platform and that platform would be YouTube. This is one of the best platforms for affiliate marketing due to the long term content. It builds trust and rapport with your audience faster than anything else out there. What you are aiming to do with this channel is to become the authority in a certain niche.

Odi’s first affiliate marketing business was Recording Now. On this site, he created content and reviews around headphones and other studio gear. By sharing reviews and comparing different products, Odi established authority in this niche.

Odi earned affiliate commission from the Amazon Associates program from this blog. Amazon Associates is one of the easiest affiliate programs to get started with and it is completely free to join. Most affiliate programs are free to join.

By having the platform and the affiliate program, Odi was able to include purchase links for the products he was reviewing on his site. Each time someone made a purchase through his link on Amazon, he would earn a commission on that product. In his video reviews, he was including the link in the description below.

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Odi’s video review, best studio microphones under $100

It is important to include a call to action to the audience as many of them are interested in supporting you as the creator. The viewer does not pay any more for the product by purchasing through your link. It is an easy way for them to give back to you as the content creator for taking the time to create the valuable content.

From a legality standpoint, you need to include a disclaimer somewhere that mentions you are earning affiliate commission. At the end of the day, transparency is the best strategy. Be honest with people about your use of affiliate links. By being transparent, it will actually help you because you become more trustworthy.

One of the coolest parts about earning commission through the Amazon Associates program is the fact that you can earn commission on products they purchase above and beyond what you referred them to.

For example, I have Amazon affiliate links on my YouTube channel. I recommend a lot of books and I include links to these books. Most of the time, the commission I am earning is not from these books. It is from the purchase of other items!

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Amazon Affiliate Sales

As you can see, I made a commission of…

  • $1.60 selling a car diagnostic tool
  • $1.40 selling a watch band strap
  • $1.22 selling a beard trimmer

I have never talked about vehicle diagnostics, watches or male grooming on my channel. Once, I sold a $1,500 vacuum cleaner through my Amazon affiliate link. That earned me a commission of over $100.

Method #2: How To Start With $100

If you have $100 to invest in your affiliate marketing business, your best bet is to create your own website. These days, you do not need to do any coding or sophisticated web design because there are so many services out there that help you do this.

Odi recommends creating a self hosted WordPress website. (Like Investing Simple!)

A self hosted WordPress website means that you are hosting the website on a paid server. There are a number of different web hosts to choose from.

The main reason for doing this is because you do not want your viewers to see that you have a free website when you are trying to build a brand. This is a major turn off and it will severely impact your credibility. By paying for your own self hosted website, you have a much more professional appearance on the internet.

You want to purchase a custom domain as well. Once you have a standalone website, you want to make sure your branding is consistent across all of your different platforms. By establishing a brand, you are building credibility and authority in your niche.

Web hosting is very inexpensive. It should cost you around $50 a month and a lot of web hosts offer a free domain upon sign up. For a $100 investment, you can run a professional self hosted blog for 2 years. This is exactly how Odi started his first affiliate website.

After you have your site, it is up to you to create the content for your site. If you followed Odi’s advice and started with passion, it should be easy for you to create content because you are naturally interested in your niche. Remember, the number one rule with affiliate marketing is to add value first! Money is an afterthought or a byproduct of your efforts.

There are creative ways to get around the hurdles of creating original content and purchasing expensive equipment to review. If you have a well established blog that reviews products, people will likely be sending them to you for free left and right in hopes that you will review their product.

If you are trying to get a business off the ground with $100, you need to be as creative as possible and bootstrap.

Closing Thoughts…

I want to thank those of you who stayed to the very end of this article. For the 1% that decide to take action, I encourage you to follow up with me or Odi and share your experience with us. Remember, everyone starts at nothing and those who take action will get ahead. You might not slam it out of the park with your first attempt, but you will learn something from everything you do. Odi mentioned earlier that he had a number of failed businesses online before he had a successful one and he spent his first year spinning his tires and earning nothing at all.

If you are looking to learn more about Odi and affiliate marketing, I would recommend taking his free course and checking out his YouTube channel. I will provide links to both of these below!

Odi’s YouTube Channel

Odi’s FREE Affiliate Marketing Course




Changes To The 2018 Tax Law: Here’s What You Need To Know!

At Investing Simple, we are not tax professionals. We recommend contacting a tax professional for more information on anything discussed in this article.

Last year congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017) which made significant changes to the tax code. As of the time we are writing this article these changes are in effect from 2018 to 2025. Many of these changes will impact taxpayers across all income levels and households. Knowing the specific changes to the law and how it may affect you could help save you money when you file your taxes.

Key Changes

  1. Tax bracket income limits and rates have been adjusted
  2. The standard deduction has significantly increased, but personal and dependent exemptions have been eliminated
  3. Less people will itemize their deductions on Schedule A due to the increase in the standard deduction

Tax Brackets

There are still 7 tax brackets, but the rates have been reduced to the following:

image (1).png


What Has Changed?

1. Increased Standard Deduction: The new tax law has increased the standard deduction for all filers. The standard deduction is simply the portion of your income that is not subject to taxation. Rather than having everyone itemize deductions, the standard deduction is in place to simplify the process. This increase in the standard deduction means that less people will be itemizing deductions.

2. Personal and Dependent Exemptions Eliminated: In prior tax years taxpayers could deduct up to $4,050 for yourself and each dependent living in your household. The new tax law has eliminated all personal and dependent exemptions for 2018.

3. Child Tax Credit Increased: In prior years taxpayers could receive a tax credit up to $1,000 for each dependent child in their household. This deduction has been increased to $2,000 per qualifying child. The income level phase out has been increased as well, allowing more people to take advantage of this.

4. Investment Advisory Fee Deduction Eliminated: Prior to the new tax law being passed, investors could deduct fees paid to investment advisors as an itemized deduction that must exceed 2% of their income. This deduction was for fees paid for investment management of non retirement accounts. This deduction has been eliminated.

5. Unreimbursed Employee Expenses Deduction Eliminated: Prior to 2018 employees could deduct unreimbursed expenses related to their job on Schedule A if it exceeded 2% of their adjusted gross income (AGI). This included travel expenses, meals and entertainment expenses. As of 2018, this deduction has been eliminated.

Here are some additional changes made to specific deductions for 2018…

Deduction20172018 To 2025
Standard DeductionsSingle $6,350

Married Filing Joint $12,700

Elderly or blind (single, not a surviving spouse) Additional $1,550

Elderly (both over age 65 and MFJ) Additional $2,500
Single $12,000

Married Filing Joint $24,000

Elderly or blind (single, not a surviving spouse) Additional $1,600

Elderly (both over age 65 and MFJ) Additional $2,600
Personal/Dependent Exemptions$4,050 per family member including yourselfELIMINATED
Child Tax CreditUp to $1,000 per qualifying child (MAGI limit $110,000 MFJ/ $75,000 Single)Up to $2,000 per qualifying child (MAGI limit $400,000 MFJ/ $200,000 single)
Dependent CreditN/A$500 credit per qualifying dependent
Health Insurance MandateEvery American Tax payer must have health insurance coverageApplies for 2018

ELIMINATED 2019 To 2025

No longer a penalty for not being covered by health insurance
AlimonyTax deductible by the payer

Taxable to the recipient
No longer tax deductible for payer

No longer taxable income for recipient

(Applies to divorces after December 31, 2018)
Moving ExpensesDeductible if you move less than 50 miles for a new jobELIMINATED
Miscellaneous Itemized Expenses*Previously deductible in excess of 2% AGIELIMINATED
Mortgage InterestLimited to loans on primary or secondary homes

Applies to interest on $1,000,000 of debt
No change for existing mortgages

Limited to interest on $750,000 for new mortgages

Applies to Primary or secondary homes
State/Local Tax DeductionAll state and local taxes deductibleState and local taxes capped at $10,000
Casualty/Theft LossDeductible if greater than 10% of AGIELIMINATED

Except for federally declared disaster areas
Charitable DonationsLimited to 50% of AGILimited to 60% of AGI
Net Operating LossesEligible to carryback net operating losses to 2 tax years priorELIMINATED
529 PlansSavings from 529 plans can only be used to fund qualified higher education expensesSavings from 529 plans can now be used to fund private K-12 schooling

Limited to $10,000 per year in qualified expenses

*Miscellaneous Itemized Expenses includes tax prep fees, work expenses that were not reimbursed (travel, meals, entertainment, parking), job search expenses and investment advisory fee expenses

Qualified Business Income Deduction/Section 199A Deduction

As of 2018, there is now a qualified business income deduction offered to business entities that are not C Corporations. This deduction applies to S Corps, LLCs, Partnerships, as well as sole proprietors on Schedule C. This deduction is specified for non trade or service type businesses. This means that it is supposed to benefit businesses that sell products rather than services. To understand more about this deduction and how it may impact your business read this article here.

Corporate Tax Rate

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017) also made significant changes to corporate tax laws as well. The act cut the federal corporate tax rate down from 35% to 21% for C Corporations.

The new law has put the US Corporate Tax Rate in line with other OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) member nations. The statutory tax rate, considering State corporate tax rates as well, shows how the US compares to other OECD nations.

Tax Foundation

Up until this change, the United States had the highest Corporate Income Tax Rate in the industrialized world. This created an incentive for companies to move overseas to lessen the tax burden. Now, at 21% it is far more reasonable and in line with other OCED member nations. This should attract more businesses back to the United States.

The Bottom Line

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To understand how the changes to the tax law may have an impact on your situation you should first look at your tax return from the previous year. One of the biggest changes is the doubling of the standard deduction, meaning less people will itemize their deductions on Schedule A. To see if you will itemize in 2018, see what your total itemized deductions were for the previous year. If they are under $24,000 (married filing joint) or $12,000 (single) then you will not itemize in 2018.

If your itemized deductions come close to the standard deduction limits then you may want to further research the specific changes to each deduction. This will ensure you are eligible to take all the specific deductions you are entitled to.

If you do not itemize your deductions then you will still want to see how changes to each deduction and the tax rates themselves will impact your situation. The new tax law has resulted in lower marginal tax brackets for many tax payers, however certain income levels will see an increase in their marginal rate. As always, you may want to consult a tax advisor for specific questions or concerns about your personal tax situation.

If you are looking to prep and file your own taxes, TurboTax has an excellent platform for this.