Soldier to Civilian

Fast forward to 2015. This year is significant because I was given two choices by my Army career advisor. The first choice was to continue my service to the United States Army or part ways with the army. It was at this time, I hit my 6th year mark of military service. During this time a person of a certain rank can serve for so many years before he or she becomes ineligible to continue serving. Since I was an E4, the maximum number of years I can serve was 8 years at the time. In this article, I won’t get into detail as to why I couldn’t get promoted, I will discuss this later. I was conflicted at this time. I didn’t feel appreciated, but I enjoyed doing what I did and wanted to be further challenged and thus, continue to serve in the military. One night while in Poland, I requested a meeting with my platoon sergeant, which is two supervisors above me. At the conclusion of that meeting, I without any doubts in my mind decided that it was best to pursue other things into the civilian world.

 June 1st 2016 was the day I was discharged from active duty, or fulltime from the United States Army. I returned to my hometown San Jose, California from Germany. During this time, I had to re learn and calculate how much I needed to survive on an hourly wage. 2 weeks past my discharge date, I had my first job scrubbing toilets and cleaning motel rooms making $13 hourly. My thinking at the time was that I will take on any job and I am not above mopping floors if that what I had to do to find a better paying job. It was this year that I learned more in depth about investing. I was maxing out my Roth IRA accounts and started investing in a new asset class, cryptocurrency. This was also the period that I need to learn how to make my money work as hard as I did. There is a major difference between working smart and working hard.

No matter what or where life takes you, if you’re consistent with the things you do, you will see great results. If you’re one of those service members currently serving but unsure of you should reenlist, you must ask yourself some basic questions. Am I happy and do I have a passion to continue this line of work? How much money do I have saved? How much liability and obligations do I have to pay per month? The problem I endured during my time in the military prior to my conversations with my superiors, was I had a scarcity mindset. I was led to believe that there were no opportunities outside of the military when in fact there was and is.

Times are changing. The world is moving digital. With change, we can embrace it and adapt. I highly recommend Coinbase because they give you free cryptocurrency or money just by watching their videos and answering quizzes. They don’t spam your email and the money gets deposited in minutes. In addition to getting free money, they pay a generous amount of interest simply by holding crypto in different classes. They also offer random promotions and chances to earn crypto. This is the only exchange that I know of does this.Get $10 of free bitcoin here!

**DISCLAIMER** I am not a financial advisor nor a certified financial planner. I recommend products based on my experience. You may even lose some or all your money by investing. I cannot be responsible for your success or failures. By using my affiliate link, I may collect a commission.

Mark with a Polish Soldier

I was this old when I first started investing

My first re-enlistment in Kuwait

The year was 2011. I arrived at Fort Benning, Georgia from Fort Huachuca, Arizona. I was at Fort Huachuca as my first duty station and I was coming on my second year in the United States Army.  My mother and I took a week and a half road trip exploring various places before my arrival to the new duty station. This traveling cross country was an amazing experience before the training was to begin at Fort Benning.

 I arrived at Fort Benning, Georgia on October 2011 and left the United States around the Summer of 2012 to Kuwait. During my time in Kuwait, I was making around $2500 USD per month tax free. I had a car note that was in the several thousands of dollars as the only debt I had. I don’t remember exactly what the dollar amount was, but on the 6th month of my deployment, I was able to finish paying it off putting as much money towards it as possible. I had about 3 more months left of my deployment, so I wanted to take advantage of the extra money as possible. This was the turning point of my life where I started to invest after my debts were paid.

I started to put money aggressively into my Roth IRA account and have extra cash. It was at this time I barely started investing in mutual funds and didn’t make my first stock picks until 2013. I had always used USAA bank to do these. Back then, we didn’t have investing apps nor was it really heard of. I had an extremely limited understanding of the stock market, but I knew I had to get invested somehow. Around 2013, I started buying stocks from companies that I believed were strong and going to be around for a while. As time went on, I started investing more of my salary into the stock market. There wasn’t such a thing as fractional shares or buying stocks for $5 stocks had to be purchased at full price. 

In conclusion, my advice to anyone, especially those who are starting out their lives, I highly recommend them to learn about money and invest as aggressively as possible. The sooner you grasp these simple concepts, the easier life will be and you can possibly leave a legacy to someone. I was 23 years old when I first started investing and learning about money. I wish I would’ve learned it in my teens, but I didn’t really know how too. Even when you did master the basics of money, you must still retrain and learn new information. It is a never-ending process! If you’re interested in stock investing, I recommend Robinhood. With Robinhood, you can buy stocks and cryptocurrency for as low as $1! With these two options, you can expand your portfolio.

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**DISCLAIMER** I am not a financial advisor nor a certified financial planner. I recommend products based on my experience. You may even lose some or all your money by investing. I cannot be responsible for your success or failures. By using my affiliate link, I may collect a commission at no cost to you.