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Nate’s Favorite Things 2017

This is the fourth edition of my attempt to surpass Oprah in her dominance of the favorite things market. It is my most interesting list yet and includes a lot more of my friends. Check them out, support them, and Merry Christmas!

1. Jigisha Patel’s “Positive” T-shirts

Check out the Dot Not Shop with creative T-shirts and other great gear. Comment at the bottom with suggestions for Jigisha. My favorite .not gear that doesn’t exist yet is YourFace.not  What .not shirt do you want to see next?

 2. Libby Harris’ Book Box Club

My friend Graeme’s entrepreneurial daughter started this online book club for teens. It’s based in the UK, so it must be cool and of course they are the English experts. Get your high school age kids into something positive on the vast internet!

3. Katie’s Tru Man Brand

I met Katie of Tru Man Brand appropriately enough during an Ohio State football game. I had already seen her “OH So Good” T-shirts out and about so that makes her Columbus famous at least. Get a cool Ohio T-shirt this year that is designed a little off the beaten path from the usual Buckeye gear. Click here for the Tru Man Brand store.

4. Meet Cbus TV

OK, it isn’t even out yet, but Meet Cbus TV is coming in 2018 and it’s part mine, so of course it’s one of my favorite things. Subscribe, or buy a T-shirt (coming soon), to support our effort to put a camera on the most interesting people in Columbus!

Meeting the most interesting people in Columbus.

5. Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

They just keep growing and growing. Simple Kneads is in Whole Foods and expanding fast to a grocery near you. You can buy online while you wait for their arrival at the grocery.

6. Logitech Bluetooth Headset

If you talk on the phone, this product will change your life. This accessory is an absolute must-have.

  • Wireless
  • Hear conversation in both ears
  • Hands-free
  • Rechargeable with standard USB
  • Quickly switch between computer and phone

7. NutriBullet

High quality and essential for getting a healthy breakfast on the run in those always-short morning hours.

8. What to Watch

There is so much alternative media out there, I decided to select the best-of-the-best to help curb those at-work and late-night “end of the internets” binges. Click here or on the TV and you’ll earn a history degree by accident:

The Challenge

Oprah has around 365 live audience members at her show. I’ll shoot for 365 hits to this page. Help me out and help the small businesses by sharing.

What to Watch Today

Television has gone down the tubes.

Reality TV is the worst… or is it? No. Reality TV is the best, just as long as it is real. I’m talking history, people. I’m talking about current events. I’m talking about people really doing things. In the deluge of content available now, here is the cream of the crop as I see it, to include audiobooks, lectures, and podcasts.

Video and TV

  • TED
  • Extra Credits History. Awesome short history summaries. These can help you decide what you are interested in.
  • Numberphile. All about numbers by mathematicians. (Give it a chance!)
  • More Freedom Foundation by Rob Morris. Political, but connects recent history to current events. Follows a coherent line of thought from video to video unlike mainstream news coverage.
  • YouTube Fulton Sheen. Simple lessons on life from the 1950s.
  • YouTube Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Lectures, Podcasts, Audiobooks

Stuff I Haven’t Seen (Yet)

  • Hardcore History by Dan Carlin. I haven’t listened yet, but I hear it is good. It is free.
  • YouTube Michio Ikaku
  • Comment with more suggestions!

Ventures Update November 2017

695 Riverview Drive

I have been taking my own advice by improving what I have in lieu of buying more. Click here to see renovated apartment B4 available now.

We (my brother and I own this jointly) were contacted again with an offer to purchase. We shared stories with the prospective buyer about how we love our buildings, and turned the offer down.

Real Estate Agent

I went door-to-door in Clintonville and it was actually a very pleasant experience. It helped that there was nice weather and the people were nice, but also because I had something besides real estate to talk about. I was also pitching Meet Cbus TV:

Meet Cbus TV

I teamed up with videographer Matt DeNoble who is graduating from Ohio State this winter. We are going to do promotional videos for small businesses and have larger businesses sponsor them. The small businesses get free exposure. The large businesses get an authentic connection with the small business clientele, and the city of Columbus gets quality content from our own back yard!

www.meetcbus.tv

Park City Holdings

I continue to adjust course on Park City Holdings. There is a huge opportunity. We need to tap it.

Kineomen

Kineomen’s founder has graduated from Duke Business School, so full steam ahead.

Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Simple Kneads is now available in 5+ Whole Foods stores in the North Carolina research triangle area and growing fast.

www.simplekneads.com

Vino de Coco

I still plan to visit the Philippines. Still.

Other

www.meetohio.tv

www.coldcall.tv

www.youtaxi.tv

Art Gallery

www.RR34.info/G

Videos and Marketing

Local internet. Relevant advertising that people want to see, rather than trying to trick people for 5-30 seconds. Informative advertising. People are smart and getting smarter. Attention marketers! Trying to trick us just isn’t working anymore.

 

Ventures Update July 2017

695 Riverview Drive

I said I would never live in it. I live in it now. I said I would never manage it myself. I manage it now. So glad. Awesome location, saving money, and making money all at the same time.

Real Estate Agent

What a great deal. I highly recommend becoming an agent. It costs ~$2,000 and a couple evenings a week for 2 months. You learn a ton about something that affects everybody. $2,000 is the commission on a $70,000 house. Worth every penny.

Kineomen

Kineomen has several balls in the air. Each is unique. Success in any single venture would be very good. They are all early stages, but each is going well.

Park City Holdings

Park City Holdings will invest primarily in mortgage instruments, focusing on discounted non-performing mortgages.

Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Simple Kneads continues to grow into its vision of becoming the national gluten-free brand.

Vino de Coco

I still plan to visit the Philippines.

Other

www.coldcall.tv

www.youtaxi.tv

I started a small art gallery in my apartment:

www.RR34.info/G

Videos

I have decided that videos are the way to communicate on the internet. I tried making a “no more writing” rule and only do video. However, videos take time and I have a minimum quality level that I’m willing to put out there. I am hiring a video producer ASAP, starting with a college student at $12 / hour.

Around the World in Columbus

I want to do a video series of interviews with immigrant restaurant owners in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is often considered the token “boring city,” but we are a melting pot with many interesting stories waiting to be told! I am considering taking a film class to give me the connections required to take on this project.

The Stock Market

I have closed my retirement accounts in favor of actively managing the money and accepting that I will pay taxes.

The Big Five

I recently heard these five companies referred to as “The Big Five.” You have heard of each of these companies. You have done business with at least one of them (or you are in a coma of course).

If you are a person who considers single entities that are too powerful to be a threat, then these collectors of our information would be a threat. How do they compare in size to the US government?

Apple

$220.46 billion = annual revenue

Amazon

$142.57 billion = annual revenue

Google (Alphabet, Inc.)

$94.76 billion = annual revenue

Microsoft

$87.25 billion = annual revenue

Facebook

$30.29 billion = annual revenue

US Government

$3,200 billion = annual tax revenue

Comparison

The total revenue of the five companies combined equals just under 18% of the US government’s tax revenue. Apple’s revenue by itself is 6.9% of the US government’s revenue. They have not passed the government, but they are starting to be in the ballpark.

What They Know, Snapshot

Apple and Microsoft’s operating systems account for most of our computers. Google controls our internet searches, and Android, and YouTube, and many of our e-mails. Amazon knows what we buy. Facebook knows the rest.

What They Don’t Control

ICANN

Others

Delaware to Columbus Bike Ride

1st of July 2017

There is an almost continuous dedicated bicycle path from downtown Delaware that reaches to downtown Columbus. Join me to enjoy this path on Saturday the 20th of May.

Leg 1

7:15 – Depart from Havener Park where there is easy parking, for Murphy Park in Powell. 8.0 miles.

Leg 2

8:15 – Depart Murphy Park for Antrim Park. 8.4 miles.

Leg 3 and Brunch

9:15 – Depart Antrim Park for Jack and Benny’s and the Blue Danube for brunch. 6.0 miles.

10:00 – brunch at Jack and Benny’s and / or the Blue Danube.

Leg 4 and Finish

11:00 – depart brunch for the last leg past Ohio State to downtown. 6.6 miles.

12:00 – finish at Scioto Audobon Metro Park for pick-up and shuttle back to Havener.

Total: 29.2 miles.

If rain, make-up day is Saturday the 8th.

Check back here for updates and ore details!

Comment below to tell me where you’ll be joining, or e-mail me at nate@nathanruffing.com

Ventures Update April 2017

695 Riverview Drive

As I branch out into other sectors of the real estate industry, I first want to take an honest look at my first major investment.

The following P&L is for 1Q 2017. See the adjustments below that convert the Net Income to a realistic monthly cash flow. It shows my vision for the property, and hence my enthusiasm since I purchased. I can finally show it on a P&L.

1st Quarter 2017 Actual

Adjustments to Net Income:
+$2500: taxes. This Q’erly P&L includes an entire half year payment.
-$1500: principle payments are not cash flow, just equity.
-$1000: one quarter of insurance paid at once in July.
-$525: 27 rent payments instead of the 28 shown.
= -$525: total adjustments to Net Income.
= $3,945 of actual realistic cash flow for the quarter.

= $1,315 of cash flow per month.

With $102,280 of total cash invested, that is a ~12.8% annual return. That is not a “home run,” that is a “single.”

So why am I happy with this “single”? In the sense that I want to do better in the future, I am not happy with it, but here are some mitigating factors:

  • I have been absent for much of the ownership of the property, and have solved many of the problems with cash, not with my own time. It has truly been passive.
  • I learned to hire a good manager. Much of that $102,280 cash is bumbling around with poor management. I have learned from my professional manager, Panzera Realty, about landlording and management since hiring them in Nov 2015.
  • The property continues to improve. The condition is better every year
  • We continue to cut expenses and raise rents with the market. This year we will sub-meter the water, and new units will rent without wall air conditioning units included. Even with these changes combined, we expect the same rent from the new tenants.
  • My original goal was to learn.
  • 9% matches the market.
  • We are well positioned for an economic downturn with a quality property at reasonable rental rates.

Columbus, Ohio Occupation

Real Estate Agent

I love it so far. It puts you on the inside. A must for full-time real estate career. New website! …

Uber Driver

Fun. More than pays for gas, but a waste of time. I drive a couple times a month still. I hope I always do. I do enjoy it.

Handyman

I will probably always do some handyman work. I enjoy it.

Kineomen

The holding company in North Carolina is positioning to invest in some sector of the real estate industry. Probably non-performing mortgage loans (NPLs).

Click here for info on NPLs. More details in a future post.

Simple-Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

We have a shareholder meeting at the end of this month. There is investment opportunity currently. Your only commitment is to sign an NDA. I do recommend.

Vino de Coco

I still plan on going there in person as soon as possible.

The Stock Market

I’m still out of the stock market.

Real Estate Office

Next week, renovations will be complete on apartment A3 of 695 Riverview Drive. I will live there from 1 May until I find a great deal on a house. Until then, it will serve as an office from which I plan to find this great deal on a house.

I am seeking people who want to work out of this office doing real estate in the listed fields. The fields do not compete with each other. Rather, each one strengthens the others. This can be part-time or full-time and you will use the skills and experience you already have to succeed.

Payment will be negotiated on a deal-by-deal basis, beneficial to all parties. There are industry standards from which to start negotiations.

I provide the place to work and gather.

1. Choose the Right Market Location

Right now, Columbus is the market that I know. Therefore it is the right market for me.

2. Wholesaling

We need sources of good deals on properties.

A real estate agent cannot ethically or legally broker a deal with a large profit without work like with typical wholesaling. However, I can seek a good deal on a property to live in, which is what I intend to do to start out.

3. Real Estate Agent

I am an agent now with Signature Real Estate. That doesn’t stop others from working in this office.

4. Retailing

This includes renovating and selling great deals. (flipping)

5. Landlording

We can’t legally manage properties for pay without a broker, but you can get support in managing your own.

6. Lease-Option, Rent-to-Own

One of the more creative segments. It has its place. (Linden?)

7. Be the Bank, Invest

All deals need funding, and the guy with the money deserves to be paid. Non-performing loans coming soon.

Ready
to
Expand

Nate’s Numbers Hub January 2017

Markets

$2,269 = S&P 500 close 10 Jan 2017 (Yahoo Finance)

28.09 = S&P 500 P/E Ratio on 10 Jan 2017 based on previous 10 years of earnings, AKA “Shiller Ratio,” “CAPE Ratio,” or “PE 10.” (www.multpl.com)

$29.8 trillion = total US market capitalization = $20.2 trillion NYSE + $9.6 trillion NASDAQ

$18.9 trillion = US annual GNP estimate (www.BEA.gov, GDP and the National Income and Product Account (NIPA) Historical Tables, Table 1.7.5)

131.2% = “Buffett Indicator” current as of 10 Jan 2017. This number is a variation* on [Total Market Capitalization] / GNP**.

(The calculation is explained here. Numerator obtained from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, current value obtained by extrapolating with the Wilshire 5000 Index. The denominator is obtained from the BEA’s GNP from above. Calculations and chart in this Excel spreadsheet).

*Instead of using actual market cap value, I used “Nonfinancial corporate business; corporate equities; liability, Level” from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis because the data is available since 1945. That number is only reported quarterly, so the Wilshire 5000 index is used to extrapolate to find the current value.

**The GDP is used by some reports instead of GNP, but Buffett uses the GNP. GDP and GNP are very similar, within about 1% of each other, and don’t fluctuate like total market cap does.

I have to pick an economist. My pick is John P. Hussman. He posts straightforward charts showing strong correlation between current indicators and future results. He uses the S&P 500 to measure performance and he has consistently posted weekly since 2003. All of his posts are available for quick reference: Hussman Funds Weekly Market Comment.

241 = current Consumer Price Index. This number is adjusted so that it averages 100 from 1982-1984. For the first year this number was calculated, 1913, the value was 9.9 (BLS)

1/2-3/4 = target range for the federal funds rate. (www.federalreserve.gov, 14 Dec 2016 FOMC Statement, and bankrate.com)

“Yield Curve” at stockcharts.com

6.93 = Chinese Yuan Renminbi for 1 US dollar (x-rates.com)

My Market Tools, Long-Term to Specific

  1. Buffett Indicator from above
  2. My economist pick: John P. Hussman, referenced above.
  3. Investor’s Business Daily Big Picture
  4. CANSLIM checklist for picking individual stocks

Energy

All energy data here is in petajoules = 1 quadrillion joules = “1-with-fifteen-zeros” joules, which can quickly be converted to other units of energy for comparison:

1 petajoule =

  • 163,456 barrels of oil, energy from (BOE)
  • 277.8 gigawatt-hours = 277,800,000 kilowatt-hours
  • 0.02388 million tonnes of oil equivalents (MTOE)
  • 0.0009478 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTU)
  • 0.0009202 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, energy from (based on 1,030 BTU / cubic foot, IEA website)

395,000 petajoules = 2014 global energy consumption estimate (International Energy Agency, Key World Statistics 2016)

102,704 petajoules = 2015 US energy consumption estimate, 26.0% of global total (US Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Review, Table 1.1)

See also the US energy flow graph, Section 1.0, for a visualization of energy use.

9,911,000 petajoules = energy contained in the 1,620 billion barrels of proved world petroleum reserves (US Energy Information Administration), using the above conversion as an estimate of the energy equivalent.

7,153,000 petajoules = energy contained in the 6,582 trillion cubic feet of proved world natural gas reserves (US Energy Information Administration). This is probably a very rough estimate because of variance in the energy contained in different natural gas.

$50.82 / barrel = current price of WTI crude oil (US EIA) = $8,307,000 / petajoule of energy

$3.41 / million BTU = Henry Hub spot price of energy from natural gas (US EIA) = $3,232,000 / petajoule from natural gas

8.307 / 3.232 = 2.6: oil energy currently costs 3.4 times as much as natural gas energy.

Commodities

$1,188 = price of one ounce of gold (goldprice.org)

$16.74 = price of one ounce of silver (goldprice.org)

1,188 / 16.74 = 71, current gold-silver ratio, historical range of 14 – 100 since 1975 (goldprice.org charts)

Jobs

324 million = total US population (US Census Bureau Population Clock)

251 million = US civilian noninstitutional population

59.0% = employment-population ratio, which is the percentage of civilian noninstitutional population who are employed. Total employed is 148 million people. This is 45.7% of the total population.

5.3% = “unemployment rate” the most-often-reported percentage that does not include people who are not seeking employment, whether receiving unemployment benefits, welfare, or otherwise.

Click here for historical employment numbers. For more detail in easy-to-read charts, see “Charting the Labor Market.” The data is also broken down regionally and by state.

(US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey, November 2015)