5 YouTube Channels You Should Be Subscribing To

Just a quick disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these channels. There’s no kickback or monetization for mentioning them on my blog. I personally follow them and wanted to recommend them to anyone interested in personal finance, investing, or wealth.

The following are five informative YouTube channels I subscribe to for ideas, inspiration, or just taking my brain for a jog. If you have an interest in personal finance or want to become entrepreneurial, these are a great place to start.

#1. Ryan Scribner

Ryan Scribner is a great intro to personal finance. He targets beginners and those early in the investment game. His videos cover passive income and ways to earn it, the stock market, and social media growth strategies. Recent videos have shifted to more gimmicky topics like “I Bought 7 Boxes of Amazon Returns” but I recommend any of his videos on passive income or stock market investing.

The other thing I like about Scribner is he isn’t shy about sharing his end of things. He’s very open about showing his metrics and actual revenue. One of my favorite videos he did is one where he spent two hours online taking surveys for money. Online surveys are always touted on blogs or online lists as easy ways to make money from home: just fill out surveys and get paid! Scribner actually tried several sites and found them to be essentially a sham (unless you spend thousands of hours doing it, and even then you’re not assured you’ll see any real money).

#2. Valuetainment

Patrick Bet David is an eccentric fellow. He’s a physically huge, fast-talking, money-making businessman. A Persian Wolf of Wall Street, minus the criminal element. Valuetainment is an interesting mix of financial philosophy, motivation, and an interview series. Videos include things like “How to Start a Business for Under $500“, “Hiring Your First Employee as an Entrepreneur“, and one of my favorites, “The 20 Rules of Money”, which is embedded above.

The interviews have a variety of guests, from financial gurus to comedians and athletes. I find myself unable to binge watch this channel, probably because it is so eclectic and wide ranging. I like to pick and choose from time to time for what I’m in the mood for and I can usually find something to fit the mood. Bet David is also a prolific poster, constantly generating new content.

#3. Practical Psychology

This channels covers a lot of ground. The topics are many and cover habits, mindsets, and general human psychology. There is also the occasional book reviews and ‘takeaway’ videos, such as one of my favorites above: “14 Big Lessons from 341 Books.” The channels is not one I watch so much for investing or money, but to learn more about how my mind works.

If you’re looking to change your habits up or understand more about why you do the things you do, this is a great place to start. Each video consists of a whiteboard animation with voice over, so the look of the videos can become repetitive over time.

#4. Joseph Carlson Show

This is a recent discovery for me. If you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m a fan of dividend investing, which happens to be Carlson’s focus. The channel has a very specific theme: Carlson opened an investing account for the purposes of illustrating dividend investing and he posts regular updates on how the portfolio is progressing. (Each video thumbnail gives the current value of the portfolio.) He takes the time to breakdown his portfolio, why he chose what he did, and how dividend reinvesting and adding more of his own money over time creates growth and profit.

Recently, he’s also beefed up his channel by adding economic commentary, news, and financial trends. It’s informational and interesting, while showing what dividend investing looks like in real-time. If you’re interested in investing or new to it, this is a great place to learn more from the ground level.

I have a soft spot for Mike Maloney. Born dyslexic, Maloney had a difficult time reading and writing that plagued him into adulthood. He finally discovered the dictation function on his Macintosh computer that allowed him to eventually correct and moderate his reading and writing issues. He has since gone on to author several books on investing! Maloney’s YouTube channel serves several purposes, including advertising his company GoldSilver.com, which deals in investment-grade precious metals.

I like Maloney’s presentations and level-headed economics criticism, but the real wealth (so to speak) in his channel comes from his documentary series “Hidden Secrets of Money.” Maloney goes back to the beginning — the earliest days of human history — and revisits money through the ages. More importantly, he defines what money is and its relationship to currency.

The real knockout is episode 4 of the series, entitled “The Biggest Scam In The History of Mankind” where he dissects how the Federal Reserve system and our current monetary system works. It’s a dense, cryptic topic that Maloney easily breaks down for the casual viewer. It’s well done, highly informative, and, in the end, shocking to see how things really work. It’s impossible not to walk away from without having an impact.

How to Build a Dividend Ladder

“I believe non-dividend stocks aren’t much more than baseball cards. They are [only] worth what you can convince someone to pay for it.”

Mark Cuban

A dividend ladder is the rich man’s way of making their own paycheck. It’s an awesome tool to generate income, merely by holding stocks in various companies. You’re paid a set amount at a certain time, on a schedule, and you don’t even have to get out of bed in the morning to earn it. But before we can discuss what a dividend ladder is, you have to know what a dividend is.

Simply put, a dividend is profit paid out by a company to its shareholders. Think of it as a reward for holding on to a company’s stock. It only makes sense, for as a shareholder, you OWN part of that company. If it does well, you get to share in the proceeds. Not all companies pay dividends, however. It’s usually up to the discretion of the company to pay any dividends, and the company can lower the dividend or even outright end it if it sees fit. For example, the company I used to work for T-Mobile (TMUS), stopped paying a dividend in May 2013.

Great, so dividends are cash paid to shareholders by the company. So what is a dividend ladder?

Most dividends are paid on a quarterly schedule. To stick with telecommunications companies, take a look at Verizon (VZ). Verizon pays a dividend in January, April, July, and October. The dividend is currently $2.41, paid quarterly — so in each of the above months you would collect about $0.60 per share. A thousand shares of VZ would pay you $600 every three months, regardless if you do a shred of work or not. BP or British Petroleum, pays in February, May, August, and November about $0.59 per share. A thousand shares of BP nets you $590 every three months, but in different months than Verizon.

Let’s take a third stock, Walmart (WMT). A share of WMT currently pays $0.53 per quarter, but pays in March, June, September, and December. One thousand shares of WMT would pay you $530 three different months. So with your three stocks, you now collect $600 in January, $590 in February, $530 in March, and repeat throughout the rest of the year. You collect a monthly paycheck from your assets, and you didn’t have to lift a finger. That is a dividend ladder.

The strategy comes in the stock picking. It’s not all WHEN the dividends pay, it’s also other factors such as dividend yield, dividend history, the health of the company, and the risk of having a dividend cut or suspended. A company like Coca-Cola (KO) has increased their dividend for 56 years straight. AT&T (T) is known for prioritizing their dividends, paying them even through the 1930s Great Depression. REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) are required to pay out 90% of their profits to shareholders as dividends (tax rules are a little different, again check with your CPA) so they make reliable sources of dividends. MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) are another example. You also want to diversify your holdings, not buying only consumer companies or only tech companies. There’s protection in splitting up the sectors your holdings are in.

If you’re not one for stock picking or don’t want to do the research, there are plenty of ETFs to choose from. ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds, are baskets of stocks that are already diversified and made up of many holdings. An ETF like Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund (VIG) is merely a basket of dividend stocks. It pays just like individual stocks would.

The best part about a dividend ladder is you can start before you quit your job. It will take initial investments to get it going. So what if you don’t have a lot of money to invest yet? Start by buying a few shares. When the dividends are paid, you can use your brokerage’s DRIP (Dividend Reinvestment Program) to reinvest the dividends when they’re paid — this means the money from a stock’s dividends is used to then buy more shares (or fractions of shares if it’s not enough to buy a whole share). Or, you can let the money pool in the account and buy more shares. It works like a snowball, start small and let it grow over time. If you start before you quit your job, you can have a nice portfolio paying you monthly when you do leave.

To get started, I recommend check out http://www.dividend.com’s Dividend Stock Screener to look through the list of all dividend-paying companies. Always do your homework when it comes to stocks! I’ll be publishing more posts on stocks and dividends, so stay tuned!

Full disclosure: I do own shares of T and VIG in various accounts. I am in no way affiliated with Dividend.com, but I do use it on occasion for research.