Categories
General

Why do I keep getting screwed?

Well my worst fears came true. Looks like QuadrigaCX, the exchange I used to transfer my money back from the US to Canada, is going bankrupt and is probably a ponzi scam. Crazy. All sorts of conspiracy theories going on. Also, haven’t been able to sleep well these past few days. Been busy talking to other people on telegram who lost their money + getting lawyers into action, signing affidavits etc.

So basically I sold my beautiful SF apartment for nothing. Just great. Last year I thought I had reached the bottom. Lost $150k of my money to the crypto crash + ICO scams + masternode scams. Broke up with my gf. Forced to sell off my apartment to pay off loans.

Now as if that wasn’t enough, this year I’m having trouble finding a job again, the US probably won’t let me get another job again due to their strict border security and too many past TN visas and of course losing the rest of my money in a ponzi scheme (over $400k).

I’m an idiot. I fell to the same trap I fell in last year. I got too greedy, I was too impatient. Why did I put everything in one place? Why did I transfer all my money over when I never even got a single withdrawal from this exchange yet? I trusted them too much. They were Canada’s oldest exchange, I just never thought it would come to something like this. It’s unbelievable. That’s all my life savings gone because of basically just using the wrong exchange to send my money back. And now I have to deal with a lawsuit that will probably take years, just for me to see pennies on the dollar back.

So yeah, 2018 was not a good year. 2019 so far has been even worse. What’s worse than losing my apartment and 1/3rd of my net worth? well losing the remaining 2/3rds of my net worth of course!

I have really been stressed these days preparing for interviews in Seattle/Vancouver on top of that, but it looks like my plan will all have to be put on hold. Paying back my parents, buying a Vancouver condo, making passive income, renting a place out etc it will take me years and years to make back this money. On top of that, no Korean girl (or any other girl for that matter) will want to date a guy with no money or apartment anymore.

I don’t really know how it could get much worse than this. Most of my Korean/SF friends are busy with their own lives so I haven’t talked to them much. I guess the only solace is that at least I am still alive and breathing, and I’m not brain dead or paralyzed. My family is still there – for now. and that’s really it. Start over anew again just like in 2011, except this time I’m 30 years old, not 23 anymore :/ I suppose this is a life lesson on how I shouldn’t be greedy or materialistic and start cherishing the invaluable things in life.. not money, but rather my friendships and relationships and memories I’ve made over the years.

Categories
General

Financial troubles and Youtube troubles

Well, I blinked an eye and its October already. My best friend in Korea left already so now I’m even more lonely than before… what can I do. Moving back to SF isn’t an option thanks to insane housing prices there and moving back to Canada is just more depressing. Looks like staying in Korea is still the way to go.

Some updates – I’ve been calculating my net worth since Aug 2009 – and my net worth this year is actually the same as in Nov 2013. Which means that I’ve lost net worth despite making money last year and this year. What happened? Well, the short answer is, excessive buying/selling, collecting vintage electronics, paying back owed taxes, bedbug issue, excessive rent in Korea/SF, excessive cellphone bills, alot of travelling, and a bad stock market this year.

If we break down the spending on Mint.com, I can see that for last 12 months:

-36% ($35,205) was spent on shopping. This doesn’t mean I bought this many items; I bought and sold alot of things, and including eBay and UPS shipping fees, I lost alot of money here as well. I also spent alot collecting my vintage PDAs/UMPCs/gadgets, video games, Magic cards, etc so thats why this category is so high.
-19% ($19,181) was spent on mortgage and condo management fees. This is valid, since there’s no way to avoid this.
-7% ($6,843) was spent on travelling. Since I go back to USA every few months, this can’t be helped as well. I already went back to US twice this year and Toronto once. I will travel to Europe next week, go back to US again, and then back to Korea. And then later this year I’m going back to Toronto again. That’s 2 trips to Toronto and 3 trips to San Francisco and 1 trip to Europe all in one year.
-7% ($6,419) was spent on food. This is valid, since eating with friends is pretty important.
-$6,450 was spent paying back owed taxes for 2013. Turbotax must have made an error 2 years ago or something. This really impacted my finances alot.
-4% ($4,264) on entertainment. This would bars, lounges, clubs and Steam games. Probably could be avoided.
-3% ($3,408) on Bills. Yeah, yeah I know.. I’m spending way too much on my cellphone bill. I need to figure out a way to bring this down, I think my AT&T contract for my iPad which I’m not using expires in Nov so I can at least get rid of that.
-3% ($3,500) on getting rid of bedbugs. Yeah, not only did last years bedbug problem give me permanent scars, I also had to pay up the arse to get rid of them.

So, I’ve figured out some ways to increase my revenue and reduce spending, which I will be serious about starting next year. Here’s my plan:
-Sell all the excessive electronics and other things which I don’t use or need that often. This includes my unused PS3/PS4 games (sadly, Steam games and Playstation Network / Nintendo eStore games can’t be sold), unplayed Magic cards, unplayed records/LPs, gadgets (UMPCs,computers,PDAs,speakers,headphones,etc) that I feel are useless, unnecessary or not worthy to collect, extra guitar gear (Traynor amp and Gretsch white penguin), extra audio and video equipment like my microphone and extra tripods. All this is worth probably at least $7,000.
-Increase rent. As a landlord, its my duty to increase my rent to reflect local prices and I’ve been undercharging my SF apartment for it. This should be some nice extra cash.
-Move to a cheaper place in Korea. I’ve been living in one of the most expensive places in Korea and I can cut the rent in half by moving just a few stations away.
-Migrate this website to my own server hosted on my Synology DS. Yes, so I won’t need to renew the $300+ hosting fee with Bluehost every year
-File my scooter as PNO – I’m not operating my scooter anymore so no longer need to pay insurance or renewal fee, this is already done.
-Consolidate my electronics. I just got a nice Creative T4W 2.1 system which has bluetooth and optical in, which should mean that I can sell the following with no loss of functionality: Samsung soundbar, Polk Audio hampden, Klipsch KMC 3, Audyssey Wireless Speakers, Marshall Acton. That’s 5 speakers replaced by one! I can use the same system for my PS4/PS3/Mac Mini/Asus/TV that’s great consolidation.
-Be satisfied with what I have. I have an incessant need to upgrade equipment and I should stop doing it. I still use my iPhone5S. That’s a good thing. I should do that with my other electronics. Use it until it breaks.

I also would like to make some money off of Youtube (I have over 1500+ subscribers) but here’s the problem: My current account is associated with an invalid or suspended Adsense account and there’s no way I can get that fixed. So I tried creating a new youtube account with a valid Adsense account and started uploading some videos – Youtube flags all of them as requiring some proof of copyright! Even if its something as recording some DOS games or my own guitar music! That’s not in violation of any copyright! Other youtubers like PewDiePie record games all the time so why can’t I do it? So I deleted that account because I thought its useless since I can’t monetize but it doesn’t delete my subchannels underneath it… and I need to be logged in to delete my subchannels so now I have some extra youtube accounts floating around that I can’t delete!
Get your act together Youtube! Why aren’t the subchannels deleted along with your main account? And why won’t you let small time people like me monetize videos? Seems like a big middle finger from Youtube for me as far as that revenue stream is concerned. Blah.

Anyways, In other news I’m going to Czech, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia and Turkey in a week. I’ll write back after I get back from my vacation :).

Categories
School/Work

Status of my goals and end of undergrad

Last year, I outlined a list of several goals that I had set for myself this year to achieve.

Let’s check back on the status of these goals now.

1) Graduate on time
I just finished writing my last exam today, and am confident of passing all my courses. As for my GPA, hopefully it will be improved.
Edit: Finished with a 2.75 GPA, achieving my goal of having my GPA >= 2.7!!

Status: Done

2)  Eliminate three quarters of my debt
If you take a look at my spending levels compared to last year:

Spending May 2009 - Sept 2010
Spending May 2009 - Sept 2010

Spending Sept 2010 - present
Spending Sept 2010 - present

Comparing the two, it’s easy to see that without a car or eating out everyday, I saved a lot of money. The increased tuition and fees in this period is because of full time school plus cost of attending conferences and events this year. I’m happy to say that I took a lot of money out of my stock account this year and paid down $14,400 of my debt, that’s 77%. So yes, I achieved this goal.
Status: Done

3) Secure a job by graduation time
After many interviews, I managed to get the job offer from the company I was interviewing with in San Francisco. What a relief for me! I’d like to thank everyone who supported me, including those who comment on my blog, my family, friends, my professor for my CSC490 CS Education course, my AIESEC VP of Communications and my  former manager from Environment Canada for serving as my references. I worked hard and I will continue that way.
Status: Done

So all of that is done and it feels rather surreal to me. Seems that college went by rather fast, a lot of all nighters, and maybe not enough socializing. Still, I think it helped me evolve as a person. Even this year, I am quite different than a year ago. I don’t have a car anymore, no steady source of income yet, no $20k in stocks, and no girlfriend once again. Yet I feel more mature somehow. Maybe cause I have tangible achievements now. Anyways, I thank the University of Toronto for causing me to become a stronger person, and feel quite relieved to end off my 17 years of education (since kindergarten). I still don’t know about grad school yet (GPA too low), but I am ready to move on to the real world now.