The storefront is through ShapeWays and I use ifixit to drive the traffic. It's passively making ~$425/mo with about 10 minutes of work per week on my end. This all happened because my grinder failed and I couldn't get parts.
... and on the guide.
> Sandpaper and a file are likely optional. They are only necessary if the 3D printed impeller isn't a perfect fit.
Do you get any "support" queries from people who buy the impeller and then try to fit it, and it's tight (by your own admission a deliberate design choice) and they try to email you or return the impeller? Not trolling, genuinely curious.
Also, anything that comes up that takes significant back and forth with a customer, I immediately add to the iFixit writeup. All the troubleshooting steps at the bottom were a result of questions that came in at the beginning. This was a lot of work up front, but it's thankfully just a trickle now.
Wow. This is genius. You should write a click-baity blog post titled "This Weird Trick will always get your products 5-star ratings"
Or spoken in more buzzword silicon valley speak - you have to set customer expectations and then aim to exceed them.
Sorry but isn't it 'under-promise and over-deliver'? Just double-checking...
I've dealt with quite a few vendors who over promise and under deliver...
The material is a Nylon plastic. "Polyamide PA 2200" according to ShapeWays. This link has details on the material when used with laser sintering and in regard to contact with food. The key quote is "[...]are in compliance with EU Plastics Directive 2002/72/EC for the use with all types of foods except high alcoholic foodstuffs[...]"
That said, there is a porosity issue with 3D printed parts and consequently dry coffee coats the impeller and sticks to the surface right away. It's a big problem if in contact with dairy, meat, liquids, etc. because it harbors bacteria. For this reason, ShapeWays does not claim to be food-grade. I don't think it matters for dry coffee though. Nevertheless, there's a writeup about this on the storefront so customers can make the call if they care about stale coffee on their impeller or not.
Super cool side project.
[Somewhat related: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-sim... ]
Don't attempt to beat the market. The market cannot be beat (many examples in the book). Invest in index funds long term which is the right mix of risk/reward for most people.
It does have a chart in the back which tracks your age and situation. For example as you approach retirement you should start to liquidate your funds and buy government bonds so you aren't hit by a bad year when you have to start drawing on your investments.
It did convince me. I opened accounts with Wealthsimple and Questrade the next day.
A great site for fellow Canadians is http://canadiancouchpotato.com/ - you can skip the book.
It's crazy there is this giant industry of overpaid people that exists only because people don't listen to that advice.
Disclaimer: I work in said industry.
I really would like to believe this, but please explain to me how then how firms like Renaissance can exist ... Not sure whether it's relevant but I'll add that I'm an economics PhD student.
The market cannot be beat by 99.9% of professional investors spending all their time day and night trying and with a team of people helping them.
I'm calling your bluff on you being an econ PhD student or maybe you have been one for a month or two at most...? If you are an econ grad student you know what RenTec is doing more or less. At least in theory if not specifics, people talk and there's plenty of econ papers explaining what's underneath major quant strategies.
People need to chill bringing up RenTec when finance comes up (Buffett too). Just like they need to chill bringing up Facebook when talking about startup valuations. Outliers are outliers.
There are pretty much no econ papers that would describe what happens inside the high end systematic firms. (Source: I work in the industry)
Bringing up the outliers is a perfect counterexample when wild sweeping statements are made. These are not even real outliers, they are valid samples.
>The market cannot be beat by 99.9% of professional investors spending all their time day and night trying and with a team of people helping them.
Professional investors pretty consistently beat the market. But not the ones that you see. The louder someone markets their fund, the more likely it is to be a scam. Your sample is of guys who heavily promote their fund and make money from management fees not performance.
The best managers aren't even made visible to you. Why would you attract attention to what you're doing if you have a good thing going?
I'm not familiar with this term, would you mind giving me a general description of what kind of investing these firms take part in?
When the funds portfolio is decided based on a system your fund is systematic. It's an important distinction.
Professional investors are not pretty consistently beating the market...secular! Anyone can have a good year or two.
I'm not talking about dudes talking their book on CNBC. Yes there are shops that beat the market, but if you have beaten the market 5 years in a row, you can't keep it a secret even if you want to.
Why would you promote your fund, if you have all the FUM you need? If you are doing well, why would you tell people about it? It is funny that your position is because you haven't seen it, it doesn't exist.
You don't have to answer but your questions are odd for someone with experience in the industry. But let's get into it:
How is performance made public? The same way people know what "stealth" startups are doing. Sometimes a document leaks and sometimes people talk. Usually both. Let's just say a manager is super secretive. Do you know how many people in the chain know performance anyway... Current and former employees. Current and former recruiters of these employees. Current and former clients. Current and former consultants to those clients. etc... And you're saying all these people also don't have that human urge to brag about these rock stars of the investment world? OK.
Even if that were the case, everyone has a cousin at State Street or HSBC, these people take coffee breaks and love to gossip performance and secrets breakdown there.
This is like Fermi's paradox. If all these funds out there are beating the market, then where the hell are they??
All of the funds beating the market are secretive and successfully secretive? For decades?
If it was as common as you imply there should be more of them known to the public by choice or by accident. That is logic.
Don't be the guy who mortgages his house to buy Herbalife products and tells his wife this is your year.
The comment above said 99.9% are not beating the market. There are thousands of funds out there. All funds are filing Form ADV's now...We know who exists. So yes there's a few people who do beat the market. Those 3 Russian guys in Texas and that story about the MIT PhD's working out of a house outside Miami and so yes, there's a few examples out there. Dinky family offices don't count. But no, there's a not a bunch of professional investors with serious weight under management and outside clients beating the market over a secular horizon.
There's a handful, and if you are at one of them congrats to you. But to come on a forum saying there's a bunch of professional investors beating the market, they just all happen to super secretive billionaires and they don't tell anyone about it. That's misleading. That's tech back office got your info from a e-book kinda talk. And it would be at odds with your original thesis that folks that beat the market are secretive and don't talk. So it makes me think you don't work at one, you just want to believe they exist. But again if you do work at one, congrats. Are you hiring? DM me.
So where are they?
It's a simple fallacy most people with a statistics background understand, but the average journalist doesn't.
Saying you can't beat the market, is like saying you can't win at boxing, because on average nobody wins (there's always a winner for every loser).. but I would put my money on Mike Tyson in his prime.
Your expected value for investing across the market, will roughly converge to the market because of diversification. ~20 funds will start to approximate the underlying universe of stocks, because the range of views of the fund will be across all of them. All of the alpha will be evened out into beta.
So after fees - you would be better just investing in an index than a basket of funds. But there is dependence, a good fund is consistently a good fund. So if you get a chance, it's much better to invest in a good fund.
But the best funds aren't accessible to the public, so the public doesn't get to understand the market for what it really is. And there's a lot of shit ones that market heavily to the public.
There is also a populist idea to the notion that indexes beat hedge funds etc, it makes the average person feel good to think the top investors are no better than they are. So why would journalists peddle the true narrative?
Thus, an average investor is a lot better off with an index fund instead of trying to pick individual stocks. (Funds like Renaissance's Medallion simply aren't available to people without tens of millions of dollars to throw around, too.)
When most people say Rentec they think Medallion, which while being spectacularly profitable over 20+ years, is now a closed fund only open to current employees last I heard.
You can start one of those firms; in all likelihood, not all the potential profit has been extracted yet. You can hire a bunch of smart mathematicians and/or smart technologists, and spend time working on the problem. And then you'll be in good shape to beat the market. If you're an econ Ph.D. student hanging out on Hacker News, you're already well on your way to doing this with your life, if that's what you want to focus your life on!
But "you", the person with an unrelated day job fiddling with some investing app on your phone in your spare time, starting with a relatively small amount of capital compared to Renaissance's first year, and relatively small risk tolerance compared to Renaissance's first year, and definitely not enough money to hire a bunch of scientists full-time - "you" who's asking on a thread about passive income instead of lifelong career options - you are statistically unlikely to beat the market. That's what people mean by "You can't beat the market."
Two reasons you can't replicate this - 'you' aren't a team of super top notch mathematicians with decades of data, and even if you had an exact copy of their trading strategies, you don't have the capital to make the transaction costs, etc, worth it.
OP's point is (most likely) that you can't buy them directly from Vanguard (i.e. using an account on www.vanguardcanada.ca) but will have to buy them using a broker (e.g. Questrade.)
On average, and when bench-marked against itself taking into account fees. There are funds that consistently beat the market, that you should put money into over the index if given the chance.
But your general notion that the average person shouldn't try is a good one. At the end of the day you have to earn money because you took it from someone else. To think that there is a dollar for everyone is to ignore this simple truth.
You see it as a problem, if you are used to the idea of earning money instead of taking money I get that angle. But to investors it's not a problem but a fact of life.
Can't speak to the tool itself, but the site design and overall aesthetic looks gorgeous..
Dead practical advice despite the somewhat sleazy writing style (see title of book).
I told the accountant, who I always found watching CNBC in the break room and I suspect still dreamed of being a day-trader, that the best investment I ever made was our company's ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan).
He said, "You know what? Same here."
(Standard disclaimer: max out your 401(k)/IRA contributions, first.)
Minor quibble. Your 401k plan almost always has more fees than index funds at someplace like Vanguard.
1. Contribute to your 401k to get your entire company match.
2. Then max out an IRA, a Roth IRA, or a combination of the two based on your income level.
3. Only then continue to max out your 401k.
Your income, your 401k match, and your ESPP are all tied to your employer, so as long as things are good, ESPPs can be a great way to make easy money, but if things take a stark downturn, you can find yourself with ESPP you lost money on, a slouching 401k, and no job. The chances of that happening are fairly low, but still something that makes me a little uncomfortable about ESPPs.
Obviously your advice to max our 401k/IRA contributions first should mitigate a lot of this, but I think it's important to mention the risk too since there's a certain temptation for younger engineers who think it sounds like easy money and don't realize the full implications of it.
This is certainly not true for all companies. I lost over $100K due to our Employee Stock being driven into the ground over the course of a decade by a CEO and board who had loose ethics and no business running a company.
My advice is, before investing in you're ESPP (or Employee Stock Ownership Plan - ESOP), even if you're surrounded by exceptional talent, take a close look at your corporate leadership before purchasing. If they seem sleezy and disingenuous, they probably are and it may be 10 years before you realize you've been totally screwed.
On the other hand, the implicit question of the post was "what did you create to generate passive income" (it's called "Hacker" News, not "Invester/Banker" News).
Also: Why isn't interest income considered passive income to you? "The fundamentals" are there for a reason, after all.
Your second point is absolutely correct, but I still think that my comment answers the root question - how did you set things up such that you're automatically being given money for free on a regular basis? - in a way that is simple, requires very little effort, and has a very good chance of working for many people who are able to try it.
As for tax-efficient ways, my french isn't that good so I don't know the details but if I understand this topic  correctly you should have some options like PEA, PERCO/PERP, and/or PEE/PEI/PEG
N.B.: There will always be some discussion around this specific broker because their 'default account' contains a clause where this broker is allowed to temporarily loan your assets to other customers. Don't do this. You can get a so-called 'custody account' (which is basically a regular brokerage account) that's only marginally more expensive.
Open an ETRADE Securities account if I'm neither a legal resident of the U.S. nor a U.S. citizen
You won't be able to open a brokerage account online if you are not a legal resident or citizen of the United States because we will need some additional documentation from you. If you're not sure if you're a legal resident, see the Help topic Determine my residency status.
Request a brokerage account application by mail, or download it from our Forms & Applications page.
Download a Form W-8BEN.
Complete sections 1 through 6 of the application (the section on options trading isn't required).
Send your completed application and Form W-8BEN, along with your initial deposit and any supporting documentation, to us at:
By regular U.S. mail
ETRADE Securities LLC
PO Box 484
Jersey City, NJ 07303 - 0484
By overnight mail
E*TRADE Securities LLC
Harborside Financial Center
501 Plaza 2
34 Exchange Place
Jersey City, NJ 07311
As per how to open a brokerage account for alien non US resident, several years ago I managed to open an account at interactive broker while living in hong kong. They have among the lowest fees of all brokers and good software. Pretty sure its also possible to open an account while residing in france.
One thing to note though: as an alien non US resident, any US dividends will be taxed at 30pct in the US, directly deducted by the brokerage company
Why? Surely investing in a higher growth economy is better?
My blog post about financial independence: http://mays.co/why-financial-independence/
That is already passed the 4% withdrawal rate (can take out 4% every year and never decrease the principle), which is 25x annual spending in savings/investments.
That said...there are many funds like them, those in particular are 3x leveraged crude oil ETF's. That means if the price of oil rises 1%, UWTI rises 3%. If it falls 1%, DWTI rises 3%. Crude oil as a market has "predictable volatility", that (simply) means that within a given day, the price will rise/fall repeatedly within a sane range(given no extraordinary circumstances). Identify this range, and buy and sell on both sides(short and long) to take advantage of the range. Follow the big money(banks), and you'll be just fine. Never go against the flow, you will (virtually) always lose.
Before you jump into 2x or 3x, you should be able to reliably generate returns from a non-leveraged ETF tracking the same commodity.
Lets say UWTI is trading at 100 today. Oil is trading at 50.
Day1: Oil falls 47.5 (5% drop). UWTI will fall to -> 100 * ( 1 - 3 * 0.05) = 85
Day2: Oil rises back to 50 (5.26 % rise). UWTI will rise to -> 85 (1+ 3 * 0.0526) = 98.42
So even though oil price recovered, you lost $1.58. Over a period of time, rise and fall in oil prices corrodes the value of UWTI & DWTI (and similar leveraged ETFs)
If your ETF is "ausländisch thesaurierend" ("foreign accumulating"), declaring it will be a bit more complicated but not that hard. Would you mind explaining your situation a bit better? Maybe I'm missing something (and I wouldn't want to, since I'm looking into this topic myself at the moment).
Do Germans not have any practical way to invest in accumulating funds?
Just beware of taxes.
https://www.charles-stanley-direct.co.uk/ is a good shout, but there may be better depending on how you'd like to invest.
For non-EU/US residents I got a recommendation for http://int.tddirectinvesting.com/
Is there a value add that I'm missing?
Anyway, since you're in Europe, curious why you chose this fund (S&P 500) over something with more exposure outside the US?
For example, that provides the FTSE all-share through an L&G fund:
Which has fractionally lower fees than the Vanguard equivalent:
For my Indian friends here (or people interested in investing in the Indian market), I'd suggest http://scripbox.com (no affiliation, just a happy customer).
I started a year ago when I was 25, and am glad I started this early(-ish).
Doing it for charitable reasons is fine, but it's not a great way to make money IMO.
Basically, the change is already priced-in and you shouldn't worry about timing the market. Buy and hold.
You should get inflation + some economic growth + risk premium for holding equity.
I encourage you to read up on this, but someone else with more knowledge should recommend some books.
I didn't mention any numbers. If economic growth is low, and inflation is non-existent, you will not approach 7%.
>Why are banks struggling to get even 2% return on their investment
Where do you get that information?
Probably don't do this (use taxable investment accounts) unless you have at least 15% going to your tax-advantaged retirement account(s).
Saving tax while something grows is great, unless you need that cash sooner. Then it is not too helpful.
I wish there were a tax advantaged vehicle to use for setting aside money for a home.
So yes, definitely invest in tax advantaged accounts, but do so with a solid understanding of your expected financial needs as best you can model for the next 5-10 years. If you need access to that money sooner, what you'd lose on tax may be worth the flexibility of having those investments somewhere more easily liquidated.
EVERY contribution you make to a Roth IRA/401k can be pulled out, tax-free, at any time for any reason. It's the earnings you have to be careful about. But for example if you have contributed $20k to your Roth IRA or Roth 401k, and it is now worth $35k, then you can pull out $20k at any time for any reason, while for the other $15k you have to wait until 59 1/2, or use SEP withdraws, etc.
In addition, for a first-time home purchase you can pull out up to $10k without penalty (but with normal income tax applied) from a traditional IRA or 401k.
Passive investing when you have many years before retirement means you worry about long term trends rather than short term risks.
Whereas (more seriously) investing in "more stable" things like bonds forces you to pay a premium, because every man and his dog has desperately been chasing stability, safety, yield, etc since 2008, in many cases using quantitatively eased money to do so.
When a thread takes a turn for the worse, please don't reply unless you can make it better, not worse still. Political name-calling makes it worse still.
Since I had to ask you to keep partisan politics out of HN threads only a couple days ago, I'd like to emphasize the point. This is not what Hacker News is for. Please (re)-read:
All the code is in the same repository as R Markdown.
SPY / VFIAX / S&P 500 has a CAGR 4.9% from Nov 2000 to Nov 2016.
"The average 30-year rolling total return for the S&P 500 starting with 1926, is 2,478% or 11.21% annualized (geometric mean). There were several 30-year periods that had annual returns between 8% and 10%."
Having said so, past returns don't guarantee anything for the future. They might give you an indication though.
Edit: Here's  a better (?) graph of the S&P 500 with the 30 year rolling returns, inflation adjusted and dividends reinvested. Source
any hacker can, in the next ten minutes, cause their CPU to do more arithmetic than the arithmetic (explicitly adding 2+5, and so forth, multiplying two numbers in their heads) that every single person has done in the history of humanity. okay, but that's just numbers.
Today we live in a connected world where 2,000,000,000 people can be reached in any eight-hour period of time.
Any hacker can find any niche and make a product that will be the first search result within it (by being the first; making something that doesn't exist; and telling people).
Why save a salary, when you can create a business, create value, and scale to the entire Internet and give people some benefit?
Every hacker should start one or several businesses. While it may not exactly be a moral obligation, this brings humanity forward.
EDIT to clarify: I am disagreeing with the suggestion that hackers should save all or most of their money - (put in my parent comment as "save as much of your salary as you can") -- rather than saving it, they should invest it into their businesses, adwords to grow it, other advertising and business development expenses, hiring, etc.
As software systems grow they turn into complex systems. They become embedded in the processes of the end users, while requiring constant boring work to remain alive.
I fail to see how this maintenance work is less worthwhile than developing new tools. Any complex task requires decades and decades of labour.
This is not to say that identifying niches that benefit from established tecnhinques and require only some domain specific customization would not also be wortwhile.
But claiming "everybody should find such a niche and become entrepreneurs" is quite bit too much. My mental energy is used in my daily work which brings added value to my orgs and our clients. The benefits of this are enormous - I can focus on deep, technically complex work while outsourcing payroll, taxes, liabilities etc. to my employer.
Effectively, I don't think many people can do deep work and become an entrepreneur at the same time. Also, expert skills in one domnain are no guarantee in some other. Star software engineers can turn up shit or stellar business operatives.
I think you are covering the software engineer in some weird halo of infallibility.
That said, I do have enormous respect for people who have created new businesses. But it hardly is the only way to bring in value.
This is how you end up at conferences where everyone you talk to is the CEO, but nobody is actually making any money (or, in large part, actually doing any business).
I also love entrepreneurship, but it is not, nor should it be, for everyone.
I guess my objection was to the idea of saving "as much as possible." I don't mean to imply that you shouldn't work for a salary: but you should take some of that salary and spend it on actively building or backing businesses, not just passively.
Based on your background I think you would be amazed how much business you could create by investing in/overseeing a developer in India or China, for example. Your knowledge/background + $5000 goes waaaaaay farther than you think. (regardless of who the owner ends up.)
To me this is the opposite of the advice to passively save as much as possible!
 I corrected the spelling of this word - I mispelled it before too.
Active investment is highly context sensitive. I'm not denying someone might be plausibly in a position with sufficient information, domain knowledge, connections and a small amount of capital to operate as you suggested.
Your claim that operating on this manner is the obvious best choice for everyone is highly controversial. For starters, private investment requires trust and communication and just the culture barrier to understand the true rules of business and engagement are non-trivial for someone who's native culture is for example northern european.
Basically, I'm totally clueless. I have no idea how to a) hire an indian software dev for a few thousands b) what value added activity I should require of them and c) to whom to sell their work to.
I do know, however, how to invest into low cost index funds with reputable finance organizations. Thus the latter from economic perspective is a highly more enticing option.
I presume you have some specific situation in mind. Perhaps you could give some 'hypothetical' scenarios and what their profit model is?
I do like programming, and I plan to spend my productive time on this Earth programming on projects that interest me and help humanity in some way, but I just absolutely 100% have no plans to start a business. I admire your excitement about the idea, but I think that maybe not everyone feels the same way :)
(I also recognize that maybe not everyone feels that automatically saving+investing as much of your income as possible is a good idea - I'm mainly attempting to reach those folks who do think it's a good idea and just need a little bit of prodding to actually set it up.)
"Saving it" here is not hiding it under the mattress. Buying stocks is literally investing it, only into other people's businesses. Buying corporate bonds is lending it to other people's businesses so they can grow. And investments into existing established businesses could easily be argued to have at least as large a potential impact as starting out on your own with a minor project that is more likely to fail than not.
I don't think there's anything wrong with saving or with passive investments. But it shouldn't be as much as you can. Engineers have other very good uses of their money, which I outlined.
How does starting a business bring humanity forward? Maybe I'm just pessimistic but as far as I can tell the pursuit of money largely just ruins things.
I would think that a "hacker" would make things just because they can and enjoy it, without concern for things like profits or market value. Indeed weren't the very first hackers amateurs and not professionals, in the literal sense?
I'm not saying that people should just forego money completely of course, as I am just as guilty of anyone of wanting more money. I just don't understand why "every hacker should start one or several businesses." if we're solely concerned about humanity.
If, for whatever reason, my business doesn't turn as much of a profit as I'd hope, and I've spent everything I could on it, I'm in an awful position: both as a person who needs to keep a roof over my head, and as someone hoping to do good things for humanity. If I'm on the verge of bringing humanity miles forward, and fail, I've done less good than if I reliably brought humanity a few inches forward.
On the other hand, if I do save my salary up, I can choose at some later point to spend all of my time and energy on something cool, and keep spending that time and energy until something happens, because now my risk tolerance is much higher. And then it's much more likely I will bring humanity forward by the miles I wanted to.
>which are wealth appropriating not wealth creating
Literally everything anyone buys is paid for by a portion of their wealth, not sure what you are trying to say here.
Quite simply people have figured out it's a rigged game and are piling in, hence the asset bubble and the fallout effecting an entire generation, which perhaps you missed.
I'm not really interested in discussing this with you either as just pointing out things are paid for is just taking the existing system without any question as "correct".
If everyone was a landlord, then that would be a pretty bad investment now would it?
What does this even mean? He is providing a good/service, and people are willing to pay him for that good/service. He's not living off the pain and suffering of others...
Thanks to a complete lack of material in this niche, the site (http://pengapplicant.ca) gets a decent amount of organic search traffic given the niche size (2k page views per month) and I make about $15/month in Adsense. Recently I was also contacted by someone who sells materials for the application and exam and have become an affiliate for them. It's only been one month, but i've already made one referral which netted me $100. So passive income on this after hosting costs is probably $220-ish and will be more in 2017 hopefully with more affiliate sales. Obviously very small potatoes, but I never set out to make any money for this and it looks like now it will at least cover my yearly professional dues ;)
To be honest, the best part is the messages I get from people saying how I helped them get their license. That's a much nicer feeling than the $.
That said, the PE exam was a breeze for me (took computer engineering exam). I'm slightly horrified that the failure rate is 50%.
In my jurisdiction (Ontario, Canada), if you graduate from an accredited engineering school and gather the requisite work experience, there is no technical exam, it is the same ethics and law exam for all disciplines (PPE or Professional Practice Exam). Documenting your work experience is probably the most work-intensive task as they want you to lay out what you did and how it qualifies as engineering in great detail. Probably the biggest reason for my traffic is that I published my (anonymous) experience record, since real life examples of this document are nearly impossible to find on the web. For the exam, I basically studied for the better part of a week. It's a 3 hour exam where your answers are typically paragraphs or pages long. I get the sense that some engineers struggle with it due to language issues more than anything else.
I built a bot network that reads tech events - mostly meetups, some conferences and workshops - for a given city from a variety of sources and tweets them. I use machine learning to determine hashtags, time of day to tweet, and new data sources. When I launched Austin - https://twitter.com/ATXTechEvents - in September 2015, I got 900 followers the first month. I suspected it was a fluke so launched Dallas FW and Houston to test. It wasn't a fluke.
In 2016, I've launched 45 different cities in the US and the network has 100k followers collectively, has its own automated weekly mailing list, and is generating 1.4M+ impressions/month. Revenue is affiliate fees for conferences (we are a media partner for O'Reilly) and workshops and selling the ad blocks in the newsletter. Almost all of that is automated. The revenue is pretty minor right now but growing and I spend 1-2 hours on it a week.
The landing page is here:
https://techeventsnetwork.com/ (only some of the cities)
and the full list of cities is here:
The Tech Events Network tweets most groups either the morning of or night before and five days in advance, so you have a couple chances to notice. Further, occasionally it mentions the meetup group's twitter handle so easy RTing.
(All automated and sometimes I'm surprised about what it's found.)
can you elaborate more this?
My last startup - Clarify.io - did automatic speech recognition through machine learning. Since I was doing the roadmap and API design, I wanted a better understanding of ML and started digging into it.
For context, I started by studying the Austin tech community since that's what I know and could manually check the conclusions.
Overall, the system tracks 5500+ groups, conferences, etc which is close to 60k events. It grows as it discovers new groups and events via a few channels.
As it finds and imports groups and then events, it categorizes each based on how they're described. If it's from Meetup.com, the category data and topic are reasonably good so it starts with that. If the source is Eventbrite, less so. If the source is an event website, even harder.
After ~15 months, it's discovered about 105k keywords/phrases, some only barely related. Of those, only about 7500 are actually useful. Not surprisingly, they include languages, frameworks, companies, products and combinations of words. (Side note: I've found words like "hacking" are less of an indicator now than when I started.. because everyone is "hacking" something.. marketing, cooking, etc.)
From all that, groups are qualified in/out based on their overall score. I manually review things that are borderline but that's 2-3 most weeks. That keyword/phrase list also feeds into the hashtags that get used.
The first version of this - hardcoded, no ML - was hacked together in a day. I've rebuilt it from the ground up to wire in the ML processing to scale across all the cities.
I later did some major refactoring to have pluggable output so it can broadcast into a Slack channel (done & released) and eventually send you a reminder DM or text (via Twilio!)
They have their place, just not in my system.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad got me into the idea of 'passive' income. Nothing is truly passive of course, but it makes me think about what I do
- SourceGuardian. This is encryption software I set up in 2002 as I had a need myself and the nearest product was $6000 at the time. It has generated a great passive income since then. Enough to pay all my bills. 2016 was no different. I work with 2 other people on it, one of whom I've never met (he's in Russia) and it works well
- Competitor Monitor. This used to be a side-project 5 years ago, but it has grown significantly and in the past year we are up by 35% and we have grown our team. Strangely this has now become passive in the sense that I have created a structure and systemised the business (read The Emyth Revisited book) and that has allowed me to step out. I am not more of an investor than a day-to-day contributor
- UKscrap.com. This one died in 2016. The site is still there, but competition and my lack of interest killed it
As I said, nothing is truly passive, but you need to have a passion for whatever you do and I would try to create a 'passive index' for your ideas. How much time will they take to get off the ground, how much to run monthly, what is the product life cycle (if you can work that out!). From when I started there are a HUGE number of resources to help you also. Feel free to ask for help or advice, for what it's worth!
EDIT: I actually met my SourceGuardian partner once in Prague for 2 days. Forgot that when I wrote the above!
But than I found another tab in the utterly shitty admin panel and it hit me like a rock. The numbers on the dashboard were a monthly overview and in fact we earned already hundreds of dollars and downloads in just a few days. I went back to the computer, but together an even better watch face, set it to 1$ again and watched it selling like hotcakes.
However it tried out quite quickly after that. People started to copy stuff and giving it away for free and I never bought the watch myself, I just used the emulator to test my apps. So I took them out of the store at the end because dealing with taxes and sharing the income does not make it worth it if you get support requests like "how can I change the time on my watch", "what do I care, its your shitty watch and Samsung's shitty interface"...
So yea. That's my best story about unexpected passive income. Selling stuff fast on a new platform seem to work!
Found some screens.
First one: https://i.imgur.com/TIVsPKO.png
Best selling one: https://i.imgur.com/9L8TetO.png
since tesla is such a controversial company, lots of people want to own the stock (expecting it to go up) and lots of people want to short sell it (expecting it go down).
if you're a stock holder, certain places (like interactive brokers) will let you lend your stock holdings to people that want to sell it short. you earn a premium on this loan, but its basically risk-free since the brokerage bears the counter-party risk.
because short interest is so high, there was a substantial portion of 2016 where there weren't enough shares available to satisfy short sellers' demand. TSLA became classified as "hard to borrow" and borrowing premiums would be anywhere from 8% to 100+% depending on the day/demand. this is money short sellers pay on top of the cost to purchase the shares (and one more thing to bear on top of the risk of short-selling, but that's another story).
the premium is paid daily, and the brokerage usually takes a chunk of it (often half), so if you had $100k of tesla stock and the premium was 50%, you'd earn (100,000 * 50% * (1/2) / 365) = $68.50 for each day that someone borrowed your shares. the rate fluctuated daily, but this still netted me several thousand dollars of truly passive income, since i was planning to hold the stock either way. this is also a huge income stream for institutional shareholders that are sitting on millions of shares.
If you own index ETFs then you can loan out those shares. QQQ is on that list and it's a NASDAQ index ETF. If you primarily own indexes though then you don't really own shares in the individual companies comprising that index, so I don't think you have something to loan technically. Like you might sort of own a lot of Apple through an S&P index, but you can't really deliver shares of Apple to a short seller.
Two columns to note in the link above:
* if you look at the "% Float" column in the link above, you can see that TSLA is at 32.0%, meaning that 32% of all TSLA stock is held by people that are shorting it. this calculation is a little more nuanced than this because shorts are only borrowing it and the stock kind of has two owners, but it paints the general picture: 1/3 of Tesla stock holders are there because they hope Tesla stock decreases in value. I think they're dead wrong but that's how markets are made.
* the "days to cover" column means that if all the short sellers tried to close their position (ie, buy stock in the company), how many days would it take that to happen at an average day's volume? this can be an indicator of companies ripe for a short squeeze, where a company announces unexpected good news and shorts rapidly try to close their position but not enough people want to sell and so the stock price skyrockets. This famously happened to Volkswagen: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-greatest-short-sq...
be aware of a few things in general:
* these rates are completely out of your hands. GOGO of Gogo inflight Wifi is listed at 43% float and 21 days to cover, but its borrow rates are around 8%. I don't know why.
* in many cases, there is a short argument worth listening to and there's a reason many people are shorting a stock. GoPro/GPRO is currently paying 86% for people to lend out their shares to short sellers. You could buy GoPro and lend out your shares but then you run the risk of owning GoPro and it's a big question mark how big that risk is. I face that same risk in owning Tesla, but I think the short argument is garbage and I really believe in the company and that's enough for me.
* the tesla situation was kind of a perfect storm because it has a lot of fervent believers on both sides. companies that people are really passionate about might be hard to come by.
For whatever reason this never materialized but I don't know why. There's a possibility it may have been against SEC rules or that institutions gradually recalled their shares so as not to disturb things too much.
Well, unless the brokerage itself goes under, no?
i would imagine brokerages want to make this as low risk as possible as it encourages more transactions, so they can charge more fees. and they also get their cut of the premium.
Made $104,000 in revenue since June (turns out the user acquisition stuff actually works), about 87k of which is profit, so we'll say ~$11,000/month part-time. It still makes me a solid $2,000/month now with zero work, and hopefully more once the book is officially published. (It's done and delivered to backers, but won't be on bookshelves and Amazon until after it's typeset.)
I know the marketing will be over-the-top for HN. Just know it sells because the content is really, really good.
If spamming all of twitter in alphabetical order is an example of the growth hacks....
I see the account he used to do most of the spamming has been suspended by Twitter now https://twitter.com/vdignan
Yep. And like Floyd Mayweather said, "Skills pay the Bills." Like it or not, Mr Vincent Dugnan is very skilled at making 11,000 / month spamming on twitter and social networks. So that's that.
I hope the startup didn't fail because it couldn't attract users?
Can you answer me a quick question? I notice you use the Twitter widget/embed on Grasswire. How do you like it?
I've always felt it was kind of redundant to show the same content that's already on the site. The reason why I'm asking is because while doing my "due diligence" about blogging/bloggers (our target market after the pivot), I've noticed that a solid 10-15% of all blogs use it (or a similar widget from Pinterest or FB). I can see how they CAN be useful, but the fact that they are mostly "consumption only" and mostly curated by one person, means that there is a lot of room to improve them, which is exactly what we're trying to do with our community platform. I'd love to partner up/work together and join forces in some way. Let me know!
Honestly Grasswire is now entirely open sourced/crowdsourced and I haven't touched it in the past ~year or so, so I haven't really been involved in that decision making process and don't have a strong opinion.
I don't really run Grasswire, it's kind of an open collective community, so you can convince people to participate but we can't really "partner" with anyone easily.
A book is a perfect example of that.
The prime example of passive income used here is patio11's Bingo Card Creator.
One also could say that in traditional investing, the upfront work is the research work to find right index funds or buying property in real estate investing. They might be less work than writing a book, but revenues e.g. from passive index fund investing are also significantly less than from writing a book, if your starting capital is small.
This is the key point. In absolutes there is no such thing as passive income. Anything will take at least 1s of effort, and $0.001 of capital. The spirit of the term, is income that is heavily skewed towards being generated from assets rather than effort.
A new book is the edge case. While making money off IP is generally the perfect example of passive income. Quitting a job to become an author, is not. There is an implied lack of effort and cost in the question. Additionally, and importantly, there needs to be a sense of "free" in there.
The prototypical case:
- [bust your ass at work] >> [get evened out with paycheck] >> ["free!" passive income from savings]
New book case:
- [bust your ass writing] >> [nothing, world still owes you] >> ["free?" passive income from book IP]
Until the "nothing" gets filled in with the equivalent of a salaried wage, I'm not a fan of calling it "passive income".
Would you also consider creating a static "how to" site that generates revenue from ads to not be passive income? I think that's the most basic example of what HN considers passive.
We're just defining words here anyway. I think a core component of what people think of when they think "passive income" is making a disproportional amount of income relative to effort put in. Until those proportions get dis'ed, you're just working at a sub-optimal job.
Tell anyone how much you made with your own tipps without proof/proof of your specific case and use it to sell it
And why assume the other is lying? This Ask HN is specifically about passive income, and calls for people to share their profits. It's not about them posting their IRS returns or other proof. If you're gonna doubt them, might as well skip the whole post.
At worse, what you describe is a snake oil sale.
But people can genuinely learn things from this or from Tim Ferris work too, so it's more like any self-help book/product sale basically. As long as it contains useful stuff that the buyer didn't know before on their own, it's legit for me.
Of course if the content is good, it still relies on the determination of those applying it. And some luck besides.