A linear income is when you trade your time for money. It’s also known as a work income. The paychecks that you receive are based on the amount of work you do. In this kind of income, you are required to put in hours of work every week. If you stop working, you also stop earning. Hence, linear income requires you to continue working in order to keep earning an income.
One absolute valuation method which may not be so familiar to most, but is widely used by analysts is the residual income method. In this article, we will introduce you to the underlying basics behind the residual income model and how it can be used to place an absolute value on a firm. (The DDM is one of the most foundational of financial theories, but it's only as good as its assumptions. Check out Digging Into The Dividend Discount Model.)
First off, let’s address what is understood to be linear income. Employees, independent contractors, and self-employed business owners make up the linear income bracket. Linear income earners are only paid for the specific time expended, or paid directly proportional to the number of hours invested in their job. Linear income earners must be physically present or “clocked in” to get their paycheck.
I am 30 years old and am retired. Previously, I made a modest salary as an Army officer. I own three duplexes and a quadplex in central Texas (10 rental units in all), and each of the properties provide me with net rental yields in excess of 15%. The last deal is actually an infinite return as my partner paid the down payment in return for a 50/50 split on a property that would otherwise provide a net rental yield of 18%. The above net rental yields also factor in an excellent property management team who manages my properties while I pursue other investment opportunities. To date, I have never interacted with any of my tenants nor have I ever had to personally deal with any maintenance issues.
A Residual income, also commonly referred to as a passive or recurring income, is an income that continues to be generated after the initial effort has been put in. You can now see why it’s considered to be the most lucrative income source, since it doesn’t require you to trade your time for your money the same way a linear income does. So how’s it possible? Well, it’s another point to team internet. Before the internet, passive or residual income was only possible through a few means whereas nowadays, the possibilities of an earning a residual income is far broader. Let’s review the pro’s and con’s of residual income below:
The challenge I’m facing and, I know it’s a good problem, is that the SF real estate has shot up about 35% in the last couple years. I’m sure you’re experiencing the same thing! So as the net worth is rising, the yield on the total portfolio is going down. Right now, it seems the only way to increase the passive income will be to raise the rent in December and to invest some of that cash in stocks, which I’m nervous to do in this market. Current allocation:
Investing in rental properties: Another form of real estate investment, rental investments (i.e. becoming a landlord) could steer you down the passive income path of steady monthly rent checks that you can use to pay off a mortgage loan on the rental property. After the mortgage is paid off, those monthly checks go right into your bank account -- potentially for years to come.
The reason I consider dividends artificial and believe they don’t matter is because you can just as easily reinvest your dividends. If a stock is worth $100/share, I don’t care if it issues a $1/share dividend or if the share price instead increases to $101/share – either way, I have the same amount of money, because there’s no difference to my net worth whether I take the dividend or sell part of a stock.
Most six-figure bloggers will tell you over 80% of their income comes from their email list. This process is that important! Through this means of communication, you can set up an autoresponder series that builds trust and promotes products – your own or affiliate – hands off. You can not only promote your latest blog posts, but also your most popular, most comprehensive and best monetized posts regardless of their age.
You may not think of driving for Uber as a “passive” income strategy, and in many cases, it’s not. What you may not know, however, is that Uber has a feature called “Going my Way” that allows drivers to specify where they are headed and pick up passengers along the way. So why not sign up as an Uber driver and start getting paid for driving where you were already headed anyway?
Even if each patron only contributes a very small amount each month, it can still be a huge source of income. Take a look at the Patreon page for Kinda Funny, an internet video company. They have over 6,209 patrons which means an average of just $3 a month would be a monthly income of almost $19,000 – plus they get cheerleaders that are always happy to spread the word on their brand.
6. Thank you pages: When you sign up for most blogging newsletters these days you may have noticed you are often immediately directed to a thank you page that tells you to check your inbox for a confirmation link. This person has already committed to you and considers you somewhat trustworthy, so it is a great time to offer them something special to take things to the next step – a sale. Maybe you can offer a special discount on one of your paid products or secure a special discount from your favorite affiliate product related to whatever it was they just opted in for. This is often called a “tripwire.” For it to work, the offer should be inexpensive and painless. Whatever you are offering here it should be value-driven instead of a hard sell. You don’t want to run people off before you even get started. With the right tripwire, you can easily justify and offset advertising as well should you choose to run ads to your opt-in freebie at some point.
Udemy is an online platform that lets its user take video courses on a wide array of subjects. Instead of being a consumer on Udemy you can instead be a producer, create your own video course, and allow users to purchase it. This is a fantastic option if you are highly knowledgeable in a specific subject matter. This can also be a great way to turn traditional tutoring into a passive income stream!
It’s a (mostly) short term, higher risk, higher reward place to invest cash that has a low correlation with the stock market, but is far more passive than buying and managing properties, has more opportunity for diversification than private placements (minimums of 5-10K, rather than 100K), and most of the equity offerings (and all of the debt offerings) provide monthly or quarterly incomes. Unlike a REIT, you can choose exactly which projects you wish to invest in.
We’ve discussed how to get started building passive income for financial freedom in a previous post. Now I’d like to rank the various passive income streams based on risk, return, and feasibility. The rankings are somewhat subjective, but they are born from my own real life experiences attempting to generate multiple types of passive income sources over the past 16 years.
I wish I had more time to put into real estate. Given the run up since 2012, I may even be interested in selling my condo that I currently rent out. I need to get it appraised to really see what it’s worth, but I think conservatively it’s gone up ~50%, although rent is probably only up ~10% or so. I am bullish on rents going up in the future… mostly in line with inflation, or perhaps even slightly faster due to constricted credit and personal income growth which should provide a solid supply of renters. At this point, I just don’t want to manage the property. I’ll probably look into a property manager as my time is likely worth turning it into a nearly passive investment.
It’s important to note that you do need to legally disclose your affiliate relationship with all affiliates. Make sure you have a standard disclosure on each page of your website that includes affiliate links, and that you have a full disclosure page somewhere where your potential clients can learn more. You don’t want to go through all the work of developing your packages only to find out they’re not compliant.
To create residual income, you need to create something that people will continue to buy on a regular basis long after you’ve created it. A house is a prime example of this as people will continue to pay rent for the right to live in the house. A business needs to have products that are sold over and over again rather than trading the business owner’s time for money.