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.
For non-EU/US residents I got a recommendation for http://int.tddirectinvesting.com/
https://www.charles-stanley-direct.co.uk/ is a good shout, but there may be better depending on how you'd like to invest.
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:
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.
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?
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.
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
>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.
Just checked and this year I've made about $13,000 in profit. It's mostly passive — this year I started using a fulfillment company so the majority of my work is sending them orders (and answering questions about the book.)
Hoping to continue the trend next year by launching a book on teaching design for engineers (http://hellowebdesignbook.com).
I also find it satisfying to see that it's apparently quite possible to make (some) money on such projects - keep up the good work! :-)
This year, other than answering questions on my book's discussion forum as well as running a couple workshops for PyCon and DjangoCon, has been largely writing-free so it would truly be 13k in profit. :)
We started a small online shop about 10 years ago, and it's mostly automated. About 5 minutes/day + one week / year of work.
Before that, I had spent a few years (trying to) run rather big software projects (for me – I was 18 or 19). They had cost me so many sleepless nights that I swore to never again take on customers paying me more than 100 Euro each. Now, if anybody complains, or gets on my nerves, they get their money back and are never heard from again.
My friends joke I'm the living example for an unconditional basic income. They haven't decided on the outcome yet, though.
Interestingly it has been very popular with teams (so selling a set of licenses so a whole team of developers can use the material). I also teach the same material in person (either in-house or in open workshops) so I'm keeping the two in sync. I made some notes about that process on my blog: https://rachelandrew.co.uk/archives/2016/06/03/creating-an-e...
I intend to do a bit more marketing of both the in-person and online training in the new year.
As an independent (not working for a browser vendor) invited expert to the CSS Working Group, training and offering this course is really how I can fund doing that.
I am currently putting together an online course and I am still undecided on the easiest method of delivery.
It's a price comparison website for top-level domains. Gross on average is $600/month through affiliate sales and data download subscriptions. Requires maybe 10-20 hours of work per month for maintenance and new features.
The most difficult part is tracking registrar affiliate earnings, and then actually getting paid by the registrar. Many require you to manually request a payout once you've reached the minimum payout threshold, others simply ignore your payout requests.
What do I mean by 'quit'? I've been working in large corporation bouncing from team to team. I only write code if I absolutely have to. So in practice I end up actually "working" a few days a month. I don't do shit at work. I just deliver something every so often, and with my experience, I can do as much as a typical dev in 1/10 the time. And I can do the hard stuff some developers just can't. An example of this was writing a parser for third party lua config files. The team fought a half assed implement for months, I came in and re-did it in a week.
Agile has been a god send for me. I just complete a couple of tickets a week, enough to have something to report in the stand up. So far as management is concerned I'm golden.
It's a tricky product because the way the app work is not for everyone, at the same time when people use it they normally share it with their friends. So I get good organic traffic. The biggest issue is to explain whats unique about this productivity tool, but seeing the video normally do the job.
It's not able to pay for me not working yet as I live in NY so there are obvious reasons for that being hard.
But it does provide me with a healthy chunk of money. And through feedback from customers I have found a new product in the same area and that will be a SaaS product.
Didn't do any work on marketing really so it is pretty much passive, but I think with a bit of work they could both do a lot better. It's a very seasonal market - we only get customers for about 3 months per year (the 3 months leading up to the exams), so thinking of branching out into other exams that occur during other times of the year so the income is a bit more steady.
Trust fund baby?
You make it sound easy. How much cash did you have to front for the down payment total? I know that for Investment properties, Lenders require a minimum of 25% - 35% cash down (so they can hedge their risks against you dumping a badly performing investment property.)
The barriers to entry in Real Estate investing (as rental properties) is almost always the HUGE down payment.
They are making some nice money each year, but the trend is quite clear: given same traffic I am making about 50% less each year. Ad revenue is way down (more adblock users, less money per click, CTR is down), but paid premium plans are balancing it a bit.
These projects are still my biggest passive income stream, but they are going to die in few years. Other than that I am owning agriculture land (that I am renting), rental property and portfolio of p2p loans.
Those traditional assets are much more expensive to acquire, but then the yield is much predictable and stable. Still, the tech projects are my best source of income considering the amount of money/time required to create it.
Which site are you using if I may ask? And what is your idea of short time in this context?
What I see is that quality of loans go down as a platform scale and I am lucky to be with this platform from the start. So my cohort is made up of mostly early adopters. I am year in my portfolio with 0 defaulted loans and 1 late payment (I feel like this loan will default during the lifetime).
My strategy is to invest to nonconsumer debt (no car loans, no holiday or Christmas presents loans or loan refinancing). I am investing in loans with disclosed profession (investing in IT professionals, govt workers, school teachers...) and with disclosed loan history (aiming to people with 0 debt). I want the loans to be paid in 3 or 4 years. I do break my rules for about 5% of portfolio that goes to riskier loans, this is where I get majority of my yield, otherwise my yield would be like 4 or 5% instead of 7 - 8%.
I guess this strategy is not applicable in US or UK, where is normal to have some debt (there is/was very different debt culture in most EU), and even here is still harder to discover these good loans, so I basically stopped investing in there.
Next year I want to start experimenting with b2b loans for unpaid invoices (business sell their new invoices with terms like NET30 or NET90 to boost their cashflow).
I launched it a few months ago and have a few smaller subscribers with a handful of larger subscribers.
Of course, because of my laziness, I took the passiveness too far and it's now all but impossible to reuse it for another potential client.
It was fun while it lasted.
The link there is dead.
You can go further and buy government bonds directly, through the Tesouro Direto system. Those indexed by the SELIC rate (which is sort of related to the CDI) are currently around 13.5% per year, before administration fees and taxes (in fact, the boring funds I mentioned above mostly invest in these SELIC-indexed government bonds).
This will change when (and if) rates get lower, but so far, investing in these funds or bonds is the simplest (and one of the best) way to have passive income.
A high interest rate is a signal that lenders are wary of lending money to the borrower because of an increased risk of default/inflation. That's fine as long as you are aware of this, but don't think you're getting a "better deal" than someone investing in a boring 1% German government bond. That 12.5% you're getting in addition represents the increased risk that the Brazilian government might default on their debts or the currency might inflate enough to negate the advantage.
As for inflation, when it increases the SELIC/CDI rates tend to rise with it too. And if you're afraid of that (it hasn't been long since we had a hyperinflation, so a lot of people still are), another government bond (NTN-B) has a return of inflation (measured by the IPCA index) plus a pre-fixed component (currently around 6%). Due to its pre-fixed component, it has some interest rate risk (if the interest rate rises, its present value drops, and vice-versa), but that's not a problem if you intend to keep it to term.
And, actually, the high interest rate is set by the government, as a way to control the inflation, so it's not as linked to the risk of default as one might think. The government could decide to lower the interest rate (and it has: a few years ago, it was set lower, but that led to the currently higher inflation, so the government increased it again to contain the inflation).
Wouldn't that be a good reason to invest some money abroad?
> And, actually, the high interest rate is set by the government, as a way to control the inflation
But surely that's the interest rate that their central bank charges to the banks (which influences the interest rates banks pay/charge for savings/loans with them), not the interest rate that they are paying on their own government bonds? I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure those are two very different things.
Yes, and I intend to do that someday. It's not trivial to do, however, while investing in the boring funds I mentioned is extremely easy for anyone with a bank account, and investing in government bonds is as easy as investing in stock. In particular, for both the funds and government bonds the tax is paid automatically, while if you invest abroad, you have to do the calculations yourself, and from what I've read they are not as simple. Not to mention the extra cost and risk of opening an account outside your country; for instance, the Brazilian customer protection laws won't apply to an account outside the country, for obvious reasons. All in all, it's a lot more research to do, with the extra risk of investing outside your home jurisdiction, for a much smaller return, and the only benefit being reducing your exposition to your own government - one I'll be always exposed to, since I live here (it could easily impose taxes on capital held abroad, for instance).
> But surely that's the interest rate that their central bank charges to the banks (which influences the interest rates banks pay/charge for savings/loans with them), not the interest rate that they are paying on their own government bonds? I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure those are two very different things.
It's complicated, but basically the government sets the SELIC rate target, and buys/sells government bonds so the SELIC rate moves towards that target. The SELIC rate itself is the interest rate banks pay each other for a one-day loan with government bonds as the guarantee. Finally, one of the government bonds (the LFT) pays the principal ajusted by the SELIC rate at its term. There is also the pre-fixed government bonds (the LTN), which pays a fixed value but is bought for less, the inflation-indexed NTN-B, which I already mentioned, and a few others.
As for why increasing the interest rate helps control the inflation, that's one thing I still don't quite understand. I just know that the government does increase the interest rate when the inflation gets above the target.
It also doesn't look like it's going to get better, just worse - so as far as I can discern the best course of action is just to spend it before it becomes completely valueless. To stay ahead of inflation here I'd have to have a 10% yield at least - official CPI figures grievously underreport it, as the baskets of goods they use don't account for the shrink ray.
There's an awful lot wrong with CPI/RPI measures, but needless to say this is tinfoil-hattery.
To say there is nothing to see without looking at any data is ass-hattery.
It's subtle, but present - a big driving factor has been unavailability of credit, which forces smaller batches for fabrication, which drives up price. This has commensurately resulted in a whole host of businesses in turkey and china who specialise in short-order just-in-time manufacturing.
But either way, prices have increased far more than is immediately apparent, particularly food, garments and low value giftware. The pinch is a lot harder at the bottom than the top of the market, too.
I obsessed over this data for years, as it was the key to understanding where to position (I.e. Who's making margin?), which retailers would be risky clients, etc.
In other words: yes, investing in USD has a higher return, but that return also comes with a higher risk. I don't buy food with USD, I buy food with BRL, so the BRL is the one that matters here.
And when the food prices do increase, consider that the food price is a big component of the inflation index, so both IPCA and later SELIC would rise to compensate.
The pain point is electronics. Almost all of it is imported, or has imported components. That one does tend to track the USD.
Instead of simply not accepting the bills, some places take a discount to offset the risk that they're fake. The older the bill, the greater the chance that it's a counterfeit.
I'm now considering doing this again in 2017. Hopefully interest rates will remain as low as they have been in order to lock-in an attractive mortgage.
Brexit, Trump, EU sentiment, China trying to deal with their own problems, they're all pointing to the same way: devalued currencies. Where they start, rising interest start to follow.
I'd also be wary of assuming commercial real estate was a lock-in. I've heard horror stories.
I'm glad it's working for you right now, I'm just saying: make sure you tread carefully and have done your research before you start gearing up.
I don't understand why you say "tread carefully"... when it's the bank bearing all the IRS cost. Plot any LIBOR curve, and you'll see that the bank is the one to lose here. Banks are fighting for customers, and cheap loans and mortgages is the game they are playing. I could go into more detail, but given that I have a 12 month DSRA account in place, I'm quite happy with the investment.
> but given that I have a 12 month DSRA account in place, I'm quite happy with the investment.
I guess we have different views on how we perceive risk. But that is ok.
But you're right, the OP definitely needs to tread lightly with property and the contracts. The devil is always in the details.
Now sure there are a number of people who don't report and those who wish to work more. But I don't think it's going to be easy to get those people back into work. Most are either in industries that are disappearing due to automation. Or they lack the skills/training to re-educate themselves.
And without tariffs (which will impact exports) there is little chance of US being all that competitive in most industries that compete with Asia (I assume you actually mean China).
That's close to 10 million people who have stopped looking for jobs who we would otherwise expect to have them.
(clickbaity headline, but the contents seem sound)
What was your downpayment? Asking because I tried to do the same thing earlier this year. Thought I was clever, did the math on how much I can rent out an apt on AirBnB, and what the mortgage would be on 30 year fixed, and my calcs said I need to put only 5% down to break-even. Then I contact lender and turns out, for Investment properties, they require minimum of 25% to 35% cash as downpayment. They said this was to hedge their risks against a borrower who would bail easily if an investment property goes south.
Any way around this? i.e. around not having to put 25% down on investment RE?
or, like you are implying, I shouldn't have saved any money, and spent it all... fancy cars, exotic vacations, and parties. I guess I gave up one lifestyle to reach another one. We all have different priorities.
I think right now we have a situation were money makes money and selling your labour doesn't, in the average case not in the "I'm a senior engineer at google" case.
I just don't see how this ends well. Workers struggling to get wage rises at all and yet 5% per anum return for those with capital. We've just had Trump and yet here everyone is basically saying "I can get further ahead by playing the system".
It's not looking good.
Many companies, large multinationals to small startups don't want to OWN property. It's capital intensive for them, they want to rent. Does Starbucks own its coffee shops? No. Can't you see how renting property is a service to many?
Stop being apocalyptic simply because someone owns property. Take a chill pill.
We've just had Trump because some people are feeling very left behind. I'm not saying you caused Trump, but I think the system that incorporates rent seeking through land is a big part of it.
Land prices are all consuming, they are taking wages from workers and then rent from net wages of workers. The system as it stands is very efficient at adjusting credit to soak up any gains into banking and land speculators.
Released this week. Came unnoticed on HN but somehow got featured on PH. 1200+ downloads of free version and a few sales.
Not sure if that'll change. In that case, the best of 2016 will be one of the plugins for Sketch https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12319286.
Also are you going to support and fix the frequent bugs that png optimizers run into with esoteric color space/alpha combinations beyond the best effort...?
Optimage can do automatic lossy (visually lossless) optimizations on JPEGs and PNGs. It means you don't have to manually tune JPEG quality for each image and can get some PNGs quantized to 256 colors if visual differences are negligible.
It uses a modified quality metric based on Contrast Sensitivity Function (CSF) and contrast masking of DCT coefficients for JPEGs, and a custom one for color-quantized PNGs (major difference is sensitivity to noticeable gradients).
Optimage has a lot of tweaks to compression algorithms to squeeze some more bytes (Pareto principle here). But much more bytes are saved by exhaustively trying all possible image data representations, e.g. fast brute forcing of PNG delta filters, dirty alpha, palette sorting.
There's a good PNG test corpus at http://css-ig.net/images/png-test-corpus/png-test-corpus-201.... Optimage – 276 058 bytes, ImageOptim – 297 561 bytes. But this is just a lossless test.
> Also are you going to support and fix the frequent bugs that png optimizers run into with esoteric color space/alpha combinations beyond the best effort...?
At some stage, yes. Right now I'm focused on things like losslessly rotating JPEGs according to Orientation meta in Exif, adding CMYK to RGB convertion when Convert to sRGB is ON, supporting container formats like ICO and ICNS, more tweaks to compressors for performance and smaller output, GUI improvements, etc.
But thanks for your feedback. I have a couple of ideas how to make it more clear.
I have some performance updates planned making it 2-3 times faster. Probably worth waiting.
Email is in the HN profile.
May I ask what percentage of sales did you get?
I'm going to launch my product soon, and I'd like to know what I can expect.
Sorry if this isn't in your wheelhouse or it's inappropriate to ask in a HN comment.
Hope to have it really pickup once done and turn profitable
I like the fact it can publish unfinished book. but I'm worried that it is not as big as amazon?
Once its done we will publish on Amazon as well (no exclusivity at leanpub)
Because leanpub allows paid user to download pdf and epub files. those can be easily shared.
whereas, on amazon, you probably could only distribute the work via kindle and printed (I'm not sure), without providing any shareable files?
I have written a number of books and the payout in increased networking with people who are into the same tech as I am, increased consulting business, etc. is awesome. I also make decent passive income from writing, but that is a secondary objective.
My friend has made about $650 off of his AMD investment so far though and is thinking of moving all of it into Micron.
The next guy wasn't good and eventually didn't want to actively manage the account. I kept looking until this year when I found fractalgo, which is used by large institutional investors to trade through science without emotion and second-guessing.
Downside is you needed to be a qualified investor.
I called up the owner curious about how the fractal tech worked and found out he was setting up a service for everyone, not just the big guys.
After some research I moved my IRAs left over from previous 401Ks to a custodian that can do directed investments + broker and let the automated system go.
Couldn't be happier. No humans required once set up, and it keeps growing like a weed while I sleep.
Do your own research for what works for you and seek it out. You will find it, eventually.
Since doing so well, they just opened a fund using the same technology.
I just started last month, and I'm up overall, although the Trump event took some back. The system takes these draw downs into account.
If I told you I made $11K last month it's mostly meaningless since the size of the account and markets you choose are important.
So I don't have enough data for you, but the data that was shared with me was better than anything else I've tried. And I've done day trading too. This is much simpler and passive once set up.
Feel free to reach out if you want, see profile info.
Exactly what Madoff's returns looked like. I googled the guy behind Fractalgo, Rich Clifford. Looks like he's been through some shady dealings.
It shines when you search for something that you want the best version of, without caring about the details; i.e., let the masses determine the quality for you. It weights results based on ratings, review volume, and some other stuff, segmenting the results by price range.
Helps me answer the question "I want the best phone mount for my bike, but I don't want to spend more than $20" without fiddling with Amazon's search parameters and then scanning the page.
Makes ~$100/month off of affiliate links.
As someone who's experiencing the drop in revenue firsthand, what are you thinking of doing to address that? Shift platforms to PC/Steam? Change the designs of future games to reflect current trends, etc.?
I was considering I might just make games using a simple cross-platform tool like Love2D, keep the designs of the games small but addictive, single player only, no levels but can be played endlessly to failure (i.e. Tetris or 2048), either make them free with a simple consumable or a dollar, and distribute them on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
I don't expect to make a ton of money for most of them but I hope I'll get lucky with one of them and it becomes a hit. I have about 3 past web games to port and update that could work.
Does this seem feasible? What would you do differently?
When I started that wasn't required. You just released your game and users are coming in for free. So I decided to do lots of small apps - but in the long run it would have been wiser to do apps that engage the users for a long time and constantly update with new content to keep those users engaged.
For myself I'm currently moving to bigger projects and also release for consoles and PC/Steam. But it's very risky for a small developer - because if you develop serveral months or years and the game flops you're basically out of business.
Adding features or levels is different, and I could do some of that, but I think I just want to make a games that are addictive to play and give you the "oh, I can get a little farther this time!" feel, like again like 2048.
Oh well, if they're not successful then that's just too bad.
p2p lending is hit or miss for me: 3-10%
Index funds pull in the rest.
I've also moved temporarily to a very cheap COL country so that I can focus on some more side projects to pull in extra sources of income before I return to the work force.
In an index fund, the stocks contained in the index will on average pay out a certain dividend and turn a certain profit that isn't squandered on worthless projects.
This last part is what makes stocks increase in market value long-term, and which also makes it reasonable to sell a small proportion of your shares every year as a passive income.
If the dividends and your sales constitute less than 3-4% of your funds' total market value each year, you can expect your portfolio not to decrease in value long-term.
You're totally missing my point. I'm saying, even if your stock is "worth" $1 trillion, if you don't actually ever sell it, you haven't earned a single penny from it. It's only money when it's actually money. So my question was whether the OP was ever selling the stock or not.
Stocks in major corporations are generally considered a liquid asset - i.e., they can be easily converted to cash. 
Don't confuse liquidity and risk exposure. The money is still subject to the risk of the market when it's still being held in stocks, but it's approximately as good as money.
Investments that pay dividends aren't as good for individuals since the dividends are taxes at ordinary rates.
I don't understand what that means. Whom would you be borrowing from? Where would the cash be coming from?
In Sofia, I'm in the capital. There's lifestyle necessities like grocery stores, fast internet, etc. Plus I won't need a car because of the excellent metro. If I want to catch an American movie or a show, there are malls/theatres. It really has just about everything I need.
It also helps that my wife is Bulgarian.
I have more ideas but I'll stop there. Good luck with your project!
Well, parent posted it here and got you interested!
I'm kind of relying on Google to list it organically as man pages are something people search for a lot.
By "Google" I presume you mean online indexes of man pages E.g. This site.
The other man pages sites are ugly, old and incomplete, despite that done of them rank pretty high on Alexa. I built this site to end up smarter, more modern, easier to use and more complete. Still a work in progress atm.
One suggestion: how about guessing at hyperlinks. For example, there are a few underlined instances of `size_t' in the printf man page. If you ask for the size_t man page, you get the man page for stdint. Suppose I had a device on my desk that could automate this sort of drudgery for me...
(I did something like this for my patched version of Bwana: https://bitbucket.org/tom_seddon/bwana, original: https://www.bruji.com/bwana/ - works well, at least for the OS X man pages. My code only looks for man pages with the exact name, though, since it runs on demand. If you're doing a preprocess to generate all the pages ahead of time then you could perhaps afford to be more thorough.)
The content? Type / then your search term.
Hyperlinks and the "referenced by" section are pretty neat.
[Just an occasional private customer]
My only new product this year was a 6 weeks video course  in productivity, it makes around $5000 every time I fill a class.
1. http://timeblock.com TimeBlock course
I don't think that's how it works.
If you make an iPhone game.. spend 1000 hours.. then it makes you a few $100 per year for a few years, I don't think thats passive income. It is just income that is very delayed from when the work was done for it.
I published my tutorial on writing webapps with Go without a framework,
There isn't much income because I want the book to be free, I'm writing another tutorial migrating the same app taught in the book to use VueJS library.
Said tutorial/book since people have told me that if it isn't present in actual stores it can't be called a book :)
Also, my first book/tutorial is available via leanpub.com, so users can pay if they want, so far hardly 10 have paid, but gitbooks.com where the online version is hosted does get around 200 page views daily + 800 downloads monthly. Leanpub currently has 550+ readers.
Yes, I do understand that folly regarding money. Money tends to bend reality, there are many psychological experiments done with money,
for instance: spending physical money induces more pain than spending money using a card, that's why it is recommended to carry cash around the next time we do shopping (read this in a book Thinking Fast and Slow and observed in real life)
I know you aren't trying to remove that pleasure from my life! But the thing is, after open sourcing my tutorial, it has been read thousands of times, and there have been 4-5 readers who went out of their way and communicated to me how much they loved the book and in the words of one reader on HN, "it is one of the best tutorials I have read" regarding webapps in Go.
It is a humbling experience for me to hear this from someone else (who isn't my best friend :D)
It is a great irony that while documentation is free, books are not.
Plus, I am not an author, writing tutorials/books isn't my primary source of income, although I was thinking of keeping the Vue book/tutorial open source on github, it already is, http://github.com/thewhitetulip/intro-to-vuejs/ and charging money for the PDF, most probably I won't be doing that, let's see.
Thanks for your input!
By the way, I had started writing a novel 2yrs ago, but I am not finding time to complete it!
I didn't understand what you meant by "It'ts a timely contribution for my work".
The book is far from complete though, and the 5'th chapter was written in two hours :-D. I have observed that (when I take a vacation of a week to program), I am more effective when I have 2hr programming sessions.
I'll contact you when the book is done :-)
Friendly correction: peace of mind, not piece of mind =)
Fast-forward a few years and I finally built out https://kernl.us as a learning project (Mongo, Node.js, Angular). It's mostly passive income now, pulling in ~$450 per month.
Later, company rules changed and I stopped actively promoting it, but second level referrals still are generating 5-10k year with doing absolutely nothing of work.
Once the website was setup, maintenance workload was pretty minimal (the occasional BugSnag report), so I guess that counts as passive.
In the past 8-10 months, it made about $5k+ through sales as well as partnerships with a couple online bootcamps. Not too shabby as I spent almost no time marketing it. Plus it was fun to write since I'm passionate about the topic and I've received some awesome feedback (of the "you actually changed my life"-sort). That was more than worth the hundreds of hours I spent writing it, the small bit of money aside.
The only "secret" other than user generated content (what makes it actually passive) for me is to never stop trying. I have like 50 in use domains right now, many which i did not extend because they did not pay for themself after a year.
How do you source your user generated content? Is the big earner a forum or the like? I'd kind of envisioned some kind of static sites with ads.
Have you taken a noticeable hit like others in this thread from diminishing ad revenue and rates?
Its more like a forum, but not one. Users can post their own content and others can vote and comment that. Plus it has a huge searchable database.
The problem with static sites (i have those too) is that google loves site updates as often as possible. A site that is good ranked today can be killed by a more dynamic one next day.
Most of my other sites are more on $50 - $200/year too :/
If you build something with the main interest of making money out of it, the state (and most probably your employer) will treat it as a business and want you to run a business for that or will likely forbid to do it. But if you build something because you need it for yourself and are running it more like a hobby but make profits from it, there´s something called "Liebhaberei". This special status mainly has tax implications (you can´t get refunds on losses from your Liebhaberei because it´s not qualified as a business, tax-wise...) but I´ve had friends which got their side projects "approved" by their employers because they did not look like real businesses and were run on this Liebhaberei status.
So if you like miniature railways and build a niche site around it, which will give you beer money (or a bit more), the tax people most probably won´t have any problems with that. You should avoid doing things that look like you are running a business (having a shop, selling stuff), but most of them probably won´t even notice affiliate links or understand what that does.
This can also help you with your employer. "Boss, I have this site about my miniature railways and now it´s making 50 bucks a month, is that a problem?"
Or you go the right way. Be honest and say that you´d like to do something for fun but there could be money involved and you just wanted to make sure that´s okay for everybody. I found employers to be unexpectedly tolerant when you´re honest.
I agreed to automated billing with him and he pays per user. I also build API's so he can hire other developers to do stuff with the data and add features.
I myself haven't touched the code for years, but the growth of the database means an extra monthly $1250-ish comes in. Which is nice.
Here is a link to the course:
In addition to that project, I also launched an online store for design patent artwork. To do this, I downloaded images of patents from the US Patent Office Database, paid a virtual assistant $1/hour to clean them and standardize the proportions, then using a Photoshop Action applied in Batch, I generated all of the images. After getting all of the images, I built an online store and integrated with printing and fulfillment service using Woocommerce and a Restful API - so when orders are placed, it triggers the artwork to be printed, and shipped, automatically. I now make about $300/month from that project and spend about 10 minutes/week managing it.
Here is a link to that website:
Anyone have any suggestions for my next project?
Wish u good luck for ur project!
Note: I'm also looking for a partner in this if anyone has any experience let me know.
Is the traffic mainly from google?
In 2016 i've relaunched https://www.interssl.com/en/ but when i'm being honest there are just too many support incidents. So i just can't call it passive income anymore - even if that was the initial idea.
The margin of sales without support basically just covers the cost for the orders that require heavy support. Remaining income is basically blown for advertising and maintaining the site.
a) think twice about potential time killers - even if the core business model per se is passive, it might turn out to be time intensive ...
b) i'd rather not go into reselling something anymore but rather sell my own product, gives me more financial headroom.
my 2 cents.
It's a domain name idea generator. You feed it a keyword and it translates it into 30+ languages and shows you .com's that are not being used. Trying now to get more eyeballs across it. Fun though!
Edit: are you doing a lookup of the raw version instead of the cleaned one?
Squated domains that aren't pointing to anthe thing are right now registering as available.
Moving to an actual Whois lookup has to get better results. Thanks for taking a look! And I appreciate the feedback
Only have made like $20 off Adsense, but I've got a lot more work to try and get this tool into passive mode:
* working on selecting a date range
* style up the site a bit more
* maybe have users so you can save searches etc
I get very valuable data that the travel industry would probably consider great leads, but I'm just figuring out what to do with it all.
Edit - and fill out these graphs: http://www.averageweather.io/monthly/boston/ma/12/
* If I type Manhattan, NY, automatically show me a map w/ overlay of weather in Manhattan and surrounding areas. Maybe default to today, but also forward cursor to calendar.
* Or maybe automatically show bar chart of Manhattan for 1 week starting today. If they select a day automatically show +-3 days.
* or allow a date range to be selected or even just Month of December
* you need exposure, I've never heard of this before
edit: Oh ok, you've already done some of these, good.
1 more: move the C/F selector to upper right and make it a sticky value per visitor
At a guess I'd say it would be difficult to buy ads to get exposure to then sell ad clicks. Cheapest way would be very high SEO placement, but you don't have much content for indexers to anchor on. Maybe add features like expand out travel/local things-to-do space? Good domain name though.
Join relevant forums (travel, weather) and be active and genuinely helpful and leave website in signature.
Also, "Bangkok Thailand" asks me to pick a town/city.
What is the question the user actually wants to know? Should I pack a raincoat? Should I pack a dress coat for nights? Do I need an umbrella, or just a coat with a hood, etc...
Could I compare multiple areas in one chart?
Unrelated. How could I search for the least hot areas of Florida? Or find really windy areas of Florida?
$10... For the whole year. App sales aren't the golden goose everyone things they are.
The web-based version is like a demo, it's free to use but saving and importing is disabled. I'm selling a downloadable desktop app version which has the restrictions removed.
I'm thinking of making it completely free and maybe selling ad-space on there instead.
To date, I've made $6.31 from that blog post alone. Someday, I'll get over $100, so adsense will pay out.
I've also got an online multiplayer boggle game that has made me low 3 digits per month since about 2008, http://serpentinegame.com, mostly ad revenue but also paid memberships.
i dont think your unsure you know :)
Built with Qt. 14-day trial on Gumroad. Also available on Mac App Store.
MAS version has made me 40$/month. Gumroad version is better (lets you try it and lets you use same license key on all 3 platforms). However, I have sold only one license on Gumroad! I guess the MAS has better discoverability.
I sold a domain I had intended to develop this year to a FB founder for $12,000 and another for $7,500. After researching I found there are few places to buy really good startup domains so I made brandfountain to passively fund my startup(s)!
edit: i'm remembering it as logojoy
That being said, it's mostly 2 designs out of ~35 that sells anything at all.
I'm sure there's some potential in there, but it's kind of hit and miss.
 http://amzn.to/2hcfuB7 - Work Less to Live Your Dreams
Have been thinking about this for awhile and haven't settled on the right topic yet!
 @theroadchoseme on FB/Instagram/YouTube
None of them have made a lot of money, but one is still generating a small amount. Guess which. Hint: Income is not proportional with the shinyness of the technology stack
$20k from a website I built a couple years ago (searchable product catalog with Amazon affiliate links).
However, this involves 20 or 30 year contracts to buy power from you after you have made the initial investment to purchase /rent land and install the panels.
Wish there were a way to securitize those deals & allow us to trade them like bonds.
I've got some PEGI, which is mostly wind power that has less of this conflict of interest.
However, I'd much prefer to simply invest directly in a solar project via a notes (lending club) sort of mechanism. Allow me to sell the notes on an aftermarket if I suddenly need money for another reason.
I reach the adsense threshold about once every year, so it's ~70 euro/year. Sad, but I don't spend a lot of time maintaining it.
Income is step one. Investment of that income is step two.
A "salary" is income that is bound to time worked.
"Passive income" is income that is not bound to time worked.
The key difference between passive income vs investing, is what is being invested. With passive income like salary _time_ is the investment, not money. That's why it's income.
All the comments discussing saving and investment strategies are rather missing the point of the question.
Perhaps it's Trump Trumps? If not, it should be. Or presidential candidate trumps; Trump trumps all?
anon4this1: I bought 5800 bitcoins mostly for around $5 back in 2011ish [...] I'm up 15,400% in 5 years
I'm going to end up LOSING MONEY as many of LC's loans are going delinquent.
Order now our emotional life
I'm offering you the post of wife
Plus the overnight treasury
It'll work for you if it works for me
It's a great song and a very good album:
Creating value and receiving some percent of that as rent is not inherently a bad behavior. But if you think you have a better, more "noble" answer, I'd love to hear it.
> obtain enough passive income to be independently wealthy
"Passive income" does not make you "independently wealthy". You avoid "being forced to sell [your] time" because you extract wealth from those who do.
Rent seeking does not, by definition, involve "creating value":
In economics and in public-choice theory, rent-seeking involves seeking to increase one's share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. Rent-seeking results in reduced economic efficiency through poor allocation of resources, reduced actual wealth creation, lost government revenue, increased income inequality, and (potentially) national decline. - Wikipedia
From Taking Back Adam Smith and “Classic Liberalism”:
Many conservative economists claim to be staunch followers of Adam Smith. They shout slogans such as “Supply and Demand!” “Capitalism”! “ “Let the markets work!” However, for anyone who actually read Adam Smith, you would note that the “invisible hand” was not his only observation of the inner workings of capitalism. Adam Smith recognized that many in the economy were making gobs of money, but weren’t contributing anything. He was referring to what was eventually called “economic rent”.
Smith observed that all production required 3 things. Land, Capital, and Labor. A very simple example would be a brick factory. The building and oven needed to create the bricks are the “capital” – the owners are the capitalists. The people making the bricks is the “labor” – the people doing the actual work. The Land the factory occupies and the clay used to make the bricks is the “land” – the owners of the land are the “Rentiers”. Any money made by selling the bricks is then divided up between these three groups: the rentiers, the capitalists, and the workers.
Where many here on HN and I will differ is what forms of passive income are rent seeking rather value creating applications of the output of one's previous labor.
Note that you can even be pro-Capitalism and anti-rent-seeking: How Economists Duped Us into Attacking Capitalism Instead of Parasitic Rent-Seeking http://evonomics.com/economists-duped-attacking-capitalism/
Are you a Real Libertarian, or a ROYAL Libertarian? http://geolib.com/essays/sullivan.dan/royallib.html
Too many are rentier activity, costing everyone more in the long run. Appropriating wealth rather than creating it.
Hacker news seems to embrace this culture. Surely the antithesis of the early days of computing and the origin of hacker culture.
I'm very grateful that my landlord chooses to own an apartment and rent it to me on a short-term basis. I needed housing for four months, I already own a house (which is being remodeled), and I certainly didn't want to try to buy a second house for five months.
For that rental, I'm happy to let my landlord earn a profit, in exchange for taking on the risk of owning and maintaining the property.
The problem is that most of the profit he "earns" is from the ownership of land, not from maintaining the property.
See my other comment for more, or this now on the HN front page: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13153047
Some of the issues discussed on the linked post aren't fundamental to the idea of profiting from what you own, they're examples of something closer to monopoly abuse -- buying out all of the available properties in an area, etc.
It's not great when there's not enough property available for outright sale, but it's also not great when there's no room available for short-term housing either.
The linked article has several issues with it, though I won't disagree with the problem of using regulation to lock-in a high-profit monopoly. That's a bad thing, and it's common, and it's something we should fix. But some claims in there -- "A professor at an architecture school or law school does not earn a six figure salary due to providing superior mentoring and teaching. They earn their money because they are the legal gate keepers to entering licensed occupations." -- are baloney. The earn that salary because that's what it takes to pay them to not go make substantially more money in practice, and the university carefully calculates that minimum to keep their professors at minimum cost.
(This one I do have specific knowledge of - I'm a professor who just spent the year in industry, and the degree by which my salary increased during that year was... large. That's not specific to computer science, either; I know a lot of law professors who're in a nearly identical situation. They do the job because they love teaching, and the university is happy to give them a pay cut in exchange for that.)