Focusing My Efforts - Stairway of Phi

Focusing My Efforts

Focusing My Efforts - Stairway of PhiThis past weekend, I was pulling weeds.  I really should have taken care of them a week earlier and some had grown really big, but better late than never, right?  While doing so, I reached a conclusion that I'm sure anyone who's pulled weeds has - it's really hard to get those weeds with big roots with just my bare hands.

Then I came to a brick walkway, leading from the driveway to the backyard.

This area didn't have many weeds.  In fact, the weeds that were coming through were all puny in comparison to those I had just finished plucking.  In addition to being small, every single one of them remained intact when pulled (resulting in me also getting their roots, unlike some of their larger counterparts).

Seeing this, I was able to identify with these pathetic weeds and realized something about myself and StairwayOfPhi that needs to be addressed.

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Rubberband Theory - stairway of phi

The Rubber Band Theory

Rubber band Theory - stairway of phiLast month, I downloaded an application Stock Trainer for free from the Google Play Store, using it to attempt to turn a profit day trading using virtual money (so nothing real).  Throughout the month, I had great results - at one point having gained over a 33% return, ending the month with just over an 18% return.  Though on such a short term (and no 3 day wait period after 'sells'), I can't claim that this strategy will always work.  However, after having such good results, I determined it was time to take the play gloves off and try it again - this time with real cash!

Earlier this week, I registered with Robinhood - a fairly new, completely free, real-time stock trader.  (By completely free, I mean no service charge and NO user commission charges which is great!)

Having such a long wait period in between sells (unlike Stock Trainer, which allowed you to make a new buy instantly), I'm sure the way I handle the day trading will change in ways that I cannot currently anticipate.  However, I'm planning on going into it, implementing the strategy that did me so well last month - something I call The Rubber Band Theory.Continue reading

Site Update 5-7-16

Hey, everyone.  Last night WordPress went and updated itself on me without asking my permission.  Unfortunately, since, I've found a lot of broken functionality on the site.  I've fixed a few of the issues already, but for the time being, it appears that all Login functionality is out, as well as the ability to comment and access account information.  There's also an issue with the forum not linking to the proper locations.  I'm hoping I'll have the issues fixed by today, but I've got a lot of code to go through...  Thanks for your patience.

How To Make Your Own Website with no prior experience- stairway of phi

How To Make A Website With No Previous Experience

How To Make A Website with No Previous Experience - stairway of phiI've had many private questions regarding how to make your own website, the process involved, and how difficult it is to do with no previous experience.  Because of this, I'll be dedicating today's article to the topic of "how to make your own website", creating a step-by-step guide of EXACTLY how I've developed StairwayOfPhi, having no prior website developing experience, and the challenges that I faced.

You might be interested in owning a website for a number of reasons, but regardless of what reason it is you should get one right now.  In the modern world, the internet is the tool which connects us all and not being a part of it is only doing you a disservice!  Businesses of any size should have one to show their wares, as well as provide information on their services to their customers.  Job-seekers can use their own website to make an impressive portfolio (plus, if you work with computers, owning a website is proof that you know how to use modern technology!)  Bloggers can use them to get their opinions heard and entrepreneurs can use them to cheaply reach large audiences.  And everybody with a website has the potential to make self-provided money from it!  Any amount of money coming from yourself is worth pursuing, in my eyes.Continue reading

phi's april 2016 update

Phi's April 2016 Update

phi's april 2016 updateThis month, I've slightly expanded the graphical content which I first implemented last month and was able to see (in the "Track Phi" graph) a visible difference in the accumulation of wealth!  (I'm also trying to write less in these monthly updates, as I believe these articles will be enjoyed more for their math and pictures than their words.)

 

 

 

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bologna taxes - stairwayofphi

Bologna Taxes

bologna taxes - stairwayofphiWhen it comes to disliking taxes, I'm no visionary.  I, like many others, do everything I can to avoid as much as legally possible to keep my piece of the pie out of self-interest.  But if you make money, taxes are unavoidable.  Well, at least our tax dollars are going to help people in need, though.  ...Right?

Unfortunately, I reached a discovery yesterday which made me question the effectiveness of the federal government and realize just how a huge chunk of taxes are a bunch of bologna.Continue reading

How I Get Paid To Eat Chocolate

Get Paid To Eat Chocolate

How I Get Paid To Eat ChocolateToday I got paid $3.50 to eat two bars of Hersey's special dark chocolate.  Yep, it's true.  I get paid to eat chocolate.  Where to sign up, am I right?

Ever since reading The Millionaire Fastlane, I've been racking my brain to recognize the opportunities in our lives that often go unnoticed.  At first, it was difficult, but actively striving to be creative and observant ended up rewiring my brain - now it's paid off!  Doing so, I've come to realize that there are opportunities everywhere!

Getting paid to eat chocolate was just one of the many new-found opportunities I've discovered since!  This wasn't an opportunity that required me to be a genius or to have a ton of money - all I needed was to pay attention to the needs of those around me!  Please allow me to elaborate.Continue reading

How To Give Yourself A Bigger Raise - Stairs

How To Give Yourself A Bigger Raise

How To Give Yourself A Bigger Raise - StairsAt work, my group has undergone several manager changes since I've been employed.  Currently, we have a temporary manager while the upper-level management tries to find a suitable fit for our batch of guys.  It's expected to be roughly a month before we get a new, more permanent manager.  Earlier this week, though, I got to see my last manager walking around our building with a stack of letters.  I knew that could only mean one thing - raises!

Ah, my first raise - how exciting.

Everyone at the company got one, so it isn't like I'm a top performer or anyone exemplary there.  In fact, like Mike Judge's character, Bighead, being unassigned in Silicon Valley, lately I feel I've been doing very little, so I don't believe I actually deserved any additional compensation.  But I'm not going to refute it - more never hurts!Continue reading

The Power In Lists

The Power In Lists

The Power In ListsIn college I was a resident assistant.  The Housing department took their job (and ours) very seriously.  As a mandatory RA requirement, we were forced to take a 3 hour course on leadership - specifically relating to our jobs.  The course was mainly centered around personal development and the different styles of leadership.  Occasionally, we would perform activities focused on our own communities which was useful, but for the most part, the class was a joke.

I came to realize just how many of the resident assistants surrounding me thought of themselves as some sort of enlightened advisers, sporting 'holier-than-thou', third-level mentalities.  The class concluded with the lesson "Leadership can't be defined, everyone's a leader!"

Rubbish.Continue reading

Phi's March 2016 Update - Snowdrop Flower

Phi's March 2016 Update

Phi's March 2016 Update - Snowdrop Flower

This month I'm changing the way I do my monthy reflections.  I've felt something wasn't quite how I wanted it with my monthly updates, but couldn't put my finger on it until today - they lack reference!  I want StairwayOfPhi to be a place where newcomers can use as a tool of reference and having to sort through my articles to pull out and track net worth, liquid assets, income, etc. isn't alright!  From now on, I'll be showing real-time just how quickly wealth really accumulates!

Starting this month, my monthly updates will be a lot more cut-and-dry.  All the work will be done for those who want to analyze my efforts and progress.  Rather than having text updates condensing what's happened in the past 30-ish days, my monthly update articles will have hard figures (visualized in the form of graphs).  In the event of a deviance, I'll give specific explanations as to why my figures grow/shrink/perform unexpectedly.  And, as always, if something doesn't make sense, feel free to leave a comment!

On top of the new mathematical reformat, I will STILL be doing my monthly book reviews.Continue reading

How To Game the System

How to Game The System

How To Game the SystemWho doesn't want to game the system?  I don't mean lying, cheating, and stealing your way to the top.  I'm talking about living your life in a successful, fun, and compounding system - like that of a game!

As a child, I remember loving games, specifically video games.  I'd come home from school to boot up my desktop (with no real video card, a whopping 80GB of disk space, and an upgraded 2GB of RAM), log into RuneScape, and start the grind - all the while praying that no one disrupted my dial-up connection by calling the house!

All my friends played and, boy, were we a competitive batch.  Especially in the early stages of the game, it was empowering to come into school the following day to find out that I had gained more levels than anyone else in my group, completed a quest that no one else had, or had found a rare item!  On the other hand, it was frustrating and also motivating to find out that someone else had beaten me to the chase!

Back in grade school, my friends and I fell into the category of nerds.  I'll be the first to admit it -  actually, I take pride in it!  We found passion in the inspiring - tales of dragons, adventure, mythology, and valor resonated with us and dictated what we did in our free time.  Of course, playing RuneScape, those values carried over and fueled our desire to be the strongest!  But, I had a friend (let's call him E) who didn't fit our nerdy cookie-cutter mold.  While most of the nerds were picked on, E was actually pretty popular.  And while most people outside of our circle didn't know it, in RuneScape, he was also hands-down the best.Continue reading

keep your big mouth shut - stealth wealth-ing - stairway of phi

How to Keep Your Big Mouth Shut!

keep your big mouth shut - stealth wealth-ing - stairway of phiI'm trying to tone it down in real life.  

When it comes to financial freedom and mental development I'm really passionate, but just like anything else, I'm sure some others don't always view that passion as a good thing.  If I let myself run wild, throwing around financial discoveries like there was no tomorrow, then a lot of people who don't share my excitement would view me as being radical - maybe even a little bit crazy!  So what do you do when people start to think you've got a few screws loose because you've expressed that youth should be utilized by the young or because you don't share the "understanding" that a credit card lets you buy things you can't afford!?

Well, at that point, I realize that I'm alienating those around me.  After all, to the majority of people, the ideas I talk about are too far out there - far enough out there for them to think I'm too far gone!  Continue reading

Understand Taxes in 10 Minutes

Understand Taxes in 10 Minutes!

Understand Taxes in 10 MinutesPeople speak of calculating their taxes like it's some sort complex algorithm, only understood by the great financial sages of our time.  Others believe that no one really knows what you should be paying, that it's all just random and all you can do is hope you get it close enough to avoid a tax audit!  Maybe this misconception is caused from the misinformed belief that money matters are difficult, private, and shouldn't be discussed (let alone understood!), but these beliefs are dumbfounding to someone who knows the rules and just how simple they really are!  The real truth is that, for most people, determining your personal taxes is so easy that anyone with a middle school education can do it!

Knowing how simple it really is, I'm always baffled when I talk to intelligent, active thinkers who view taxes as a mystery because that's all they've been told.  So today I'd like to take the mystery out of it!  I'll break down the concepts surrounding taxes as simply as possible so that you can understand taxes in 10 minutes and then be able to calculate your own taxes so that you can be confident that you're paying the right amount AND so that you can plan appropriately for tax years to come!Continue reading

how to stop failing

How To Stop Failing

how to stop failingWe all know someone who always seems to be doing something incredible.  They're starting their own business, they're traveling the world, they're attaining something for themselves that most people never will - they're remarkable!  Have you ever asked them how they do it?  They probably just shrugged it off, didn't they?  You were probably told that there wasn't a secret to their feats, that you just had to get out and do it, weren't you?

In the past, I would have let those words pass me by, making excuses for why I couldn't follow in the footsteps of the accomplished.  "I can't just drop what I'm doing here!"  "I can't afford to spend all that money!"  "It's not as easy for me as it is for them!"  With this mentality, it's no wonder I didn't have it in me!Continue reading

Mental Cache Part 2

Mental Cache Pt. 2 - Too Many Cars!

Mental Cache Part 2I didn't anticipate the topic of clearing your mental cache to have a part two, but recent realizations about the responsibilities that I've accepted and how I deal with incoming data have made me realize there's another half to this lesson that I didn't realize until just now.

If you're like me, you like moving FAST!  It's mentally rewarding to apply myself at full-throttle until I knock out a single problem or task.  However, as any driver will tell you, driving is not all about the freeway.  There are times when you're stuck in traffic and any acceleration you can apply only occurs in short spurts.  These certainly are not the rewarding times - they are the dreaded "Just something happen already!" moments that lead us to emotional instability or to finding new ways to entertain ourselves.  Continue reading

Are You A Miner Or Merchant?

Are You A Miner or Merchant?

Are You A Miner Or Merchant?The other day I had the pleasure of having an entrepreneurial discussion with a couple of friends who know about the StairwayOfPhi project.  Most of my friends don't actually know about this site because of how open I am with my finances on here, but I chose to reveal this personal secret with them because they share an interest in finance and investing and because we have similar goals and self-expectations.

The contents of our talk contained details about our own recent realizations regarding money, psychology, and independence.  And while the subject of money is touchy, in the right group of people, I always enjoy these conversations because they allow me to freely bounce around the unfinished ideas I'll one day write about and because I get to hear others' unfinished ideas, leading me to think a bit differently afterwards and generally lead me to a greater understanding!  Continue reading

The Road To Success - Stairway of Phi

The Road To Success

The Road To Success - Stairway of PhiEver since the StairwayOfPhi project began, I've had to grow at a rapid rate to become someone whose words hold impact, whose actions live up to expectations, and whose advice is worth following.  The radical changes that I've forced upon myself in this short period of time have turned me into a more capable (and flat-out better) person.  And now that I've progressed, I'm able to see life in a new light - the same light illuminating the road to success!  Now that the light is there, I can see the path ahead of me and, man, does it look bright!  And with each additional step that I take, the more I come to realize the similarities in the paths of everyone walking this road alongside me!Continue reading

Motivational Videos are Bullshit

Motivational Videos Are Bull Sh*t!

Motivational Videos are BullshitEvery day my Facebook feed is filled to the brim with spam.  I see the same friends, day-in and day-out, sharing motivational videos for all to enjoy.  Occasionally, I'll watch one.  Sometimes they're actually pretty good (lately they've even had little plots and characters associated with them).  But EVERY day, it's the same people sharing more and more videos.  And in their 'share' description, it's always the same story.  This time they're more motivated than ever before!  The next day they're SO MOTIVATED!  The day after that, they now understand (through the lessons learned in their video) what's been holding them back on accomplishing their goals!  The NEXT day their video has shown them the way they now have a great understanding of the world.... and THEY'RE REALLY MOTIVATED!Continue reading

fallacy of minimum wage - child

The Fallacy of Minimum Wage

fallacy of minimum wage - childBefore beginning I'd like to apologize in advance.  Today's intent isn't to leave you feeling bad for realizing what your server has to go through when you make their job difficult.  Nor is it to open your mind to sympathize for those who might have it more difficult than you.  My goal isn't even to encourage you to ask you boss for that raise, either.  I apologize - this isn't the socially uplifting piece you might want or expect.  This is a blunt and straight-to-the-point article about the logistics and fallacies surrounding a minimum wage job and why the minimum wage should not be raised with the hope to shake the foundation of those living "Just Because" lifestyles and inspire a shift in mentality regarding minimum wage 'careers'.  Despite my underlying purpose of education and my best intentions, I know this article will still offend.  I realize that.  It's a touchy subject and those struggling to survive on minimum wage jobs might feel like is an attack on them.  I assure you this is not my intent.  My intent is to encourage self-growth and the pursuit of something greater.  But before getting offended, please think about my argument and consider the points I raise.  I'll do my best to present them in a fair light.Continue reading

The Game-Changing Retirement Account Clause No One Seems To Know - wallet vice

The Game-Changing Retirement Account Clause No One Seems To Know

The Game-Changing Retiremnt Account Clause No One Seems To Know - wallet viceThe thought of early retirement can seem daunting.  What with every tax-deductible government-sponsored retirement account not allowing you to remove your funds without penalty at 59 and a half and all...  Right?....

Stop right there!  What if I told you there was a way to withdraw your funds from your 401k and IRA earlier than at the age of 59 and a half WITHOUT having any penalties?  By the end of this post, you'll know everything you need to utilize tax-deductible retirement accounts without the fear of punishment when it comes time to withdraw your contributions!  Continue reading

Formula To Wealth - Buddha

The Formula To Wealth - How Long to Attain It?

buddha - formula to wealthWe're here for the same reason - we want to be wealthy.  We want the power to live our lives independently and in control.  For us, money is more than a social symbol - it's just one more way of taking control of our own future!  I've discussed the three rules to acquiring wealth and the misconceptions surrounding income and riches, but even if you're applying everything I've talked about, you still have to wonder, "How will I know when I'm wealthy?"

If you aren't there yet, it might seem daunting to change your lifestyle to one more appropriate with attaining wealth, especially when it isn't really clear how long it will take to achieve that desired wealth - or if it's even worth it!  My goal in today's post is to shed some light on the mystery surrounding the time it takes to attain wealth.  Using the lessons learned from The Millionaire Next Door, I've devised my own series of equations to understand the formula to wealth and determine how long it will take you to attain it!

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February Update 2016 - Almond Flowers

Phi's February 2016 Update

Phi's February 2016 Update - Almond FlowersIt's monthly review time and I'd like to start by saying that this has been the most successful, slam-packed, crazy month I've ever lived!  I knew that for the first half of the month getting things together for the new house would be a time-sink and money-sink, but going into that expectation I was under the impression that the second half would let up on me.  Boy, was I wrong!Continue reading

Three Rules To Be Wealthy - Lamborghini Lambo

Three Rules To Be Wealthy

Three Rules of Wealth - lamborghiniLet me pose a question. What is the sole determination of wealth?

Is a fancy car? A big house? A well-paying job with a high-standing social status? Or is it the dollar sign attached to your bank account?

If you answered "yes" to any of these options, this article is specifically for you! Many would be reluctant to believe that real wealth isn't determined by the amount of stuff you have or the amount you make. And even more have been offended to hear that anyone can obtain wealth regardless of their current financial situation!Continue reading

Site Is Live - Heartbeat Pulse

Site Is Live!

Site Is Live - Heartbeat PulseHello, everyone!  Today is a very important day for me and this website.  Today marks the day that I take ownership of my own domain name, as well transfer everything from the old, free site to the OFFICIAL StairwayofPhi.com!  For those following chronologically who are interested in the periods of time in which the milestones I accomplish take place, I will be including the original date the transferring articles were published in the header of each post.  Also, the biggest change to the format of the site is now I can get your feedback in the form of comments and mail about the articles I publish as well as hear the progress all of you are making in your own lives!  So go ahead and try out the new functionality - post a comment!Continue reading

Don't Ever Stop Growing - Tree

Education Doesn't Have to Die with School - Don't Ever Stop Growing

Originally Posted On February 25, 2016

Don't Ever Stop Growing - TreeHas anyone watched the YouTube video Huge Quest!?  The comedic story depicts someone who wants to get big so he keeps traveling around the world, eating everything in his way, growing, and continuing his path of HUGE!  Eventually, he's on a universal level and he consumes everything.  Because I love relating one thing to something completely unrelated this, of course, is a perfect comparison to the pursuit of knowledge - a quest that can continue until the end of the road!

But we aren't cartoons and we can never reach the endpoint of understanding.  Meaning that we can't reach the end - the quest of education only ends in a triumphant death looking over the accomplishments of a triumphant life!Continue reading