Yotta Savings – Contest Winnings – October 12th-18th

Yotta Savings Logo

Contest Winnings – October 12th-18th

My Yotta Savings account had 200 tickets last week.  I manually selected a handful, used my “lucky” tickets and randomly selected the remaining.  The odds are against me, lets see how I did.

Oct 12 Prior to Yotta Ball
Prior to the Yotta ball

Leading into the Yotta Ball I thought that I had a good chance of getting a few matches.  I really missed a bunch of numbers early on and my luck was really low.  Finally, the red ball rolled out and I missed so many tickets.

Winning Numbers
My winnings

Only 1 ticket paid out for a total of $0.10.  This was a really unlucky week for me.  The red ball only showed up on a random ticket with no previous yellow balls.  Back to the drawing board for the next week.

Overall 2020 Performance – Yotta Savings

  • Last Weeks Winnings: $0.10
    • Last Week ROI: Really Low
  • Total Returns: $1.60
    • Winnings: $1.60
    • Interest: $0
      • Weeks: 2
    • Actual ROI: 0.03%
    • Annualized ROI: 0.8%

What is Yotta Savings?

Yotta Savings is just that, a savings account.  They are 100% Free and FDIC insured up to $250k.  They provide a 0.2% Interest rate paid monthly on the account.  The best part, they have a sweepstakes each week where you could win $10,000,000.  How do you participate?  Just deposit $25 or more and for each $25 you will receive a entry ticket to the sweepstakes.  From there you pick your numbers, watch the balls roll each day and get paid out any winnings on the following Monday.  You should join me in saving money and winning big.  Click on the below referral link, download the mobile app and use the code JOHN246.  We will both get 100 one-time Bonus tickets when you make your first deposit.

Join Yotta Savings Today!

*I am not a financial planner and all of the above is personal opinion and performance. Your performance and experiences may differ.

Fundrise – Portfolio Performance Update – Oct. 2020

Wow what a crazy year 2020 has been.  From the start of the year I chose to let my Fundrise portfolio ride without additional principle added.  Obviously with Covid-19 the performance in real estate slowed significantly.  The 2nd quarter saw a freeze in redemptions, reduced dividends and very little appreciation.  The 3rd quarter improved on all metrics but is still not at 2018-2019 levels. Let’s take a look.

October 2020 Portfolio:

As of the end of 3rd Quarter 2020, my portfolio includes 190 active projects.  This is an increase of only 3 projects over my last update. My account has shifted into more equity based projects by about ~500bps.  This shift is driven by Fundrise’s change in focus during Covid-19, and the reinvestment of dividends. With 3 months remaining in the calendar year, my year to date returns are at 3.5%. My total annual returns are at 6.4%.  This is expected as Covid-19 slowed my 2020 returns significantly.  I expect that the next 12 months will be choppy depending on the eviction crisis and Covid-19.  Of all of the REIT options out there I find that Fundrise has the most insulated position and will fare well if a negative real estate event happens.

My Fundrise portfolio position as of 3rd quarter 2020

Top Performing Position

My top performing eREIT for 2019 is the East Coast eREIT.  This investment’s YTD return rate is already at 6.7% and growing.  The growth I am seeing is about 1/3 dividends and 2/3 appreciation.  Fundrise explains that this fund acquires a balance of both debt and equity in commercial real estate located in the East Coast region of the United States.  This investment intends to obtain a fixed rate of return that maximizes current income and equity. 

Reinvestment Options

My main goal with this investment platform is to maximize for long term growth.  Fundrise provides an easy route to grow your portfolio.  They disperse dividends every quarter and I have selected to automatically reinvest those dividends.  My dividend reinvestment’s follow the Long-Term Grown Plus investment plan that Fundrise provides.  The intent of the plan is to provide maximum returns over the long run.

Join Me

If you would like to join me on this real estate investment journey, click the link below. Both of us will receive 90 days of zero advisory fees.

Join Fundrise Today!


*I am not a financial planner and all of the above is personal opinion and performance. Your performance and experiences may differ.

Board Game Review – Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill by Wizards of the Coast is one of the best board game purchases we have ever made.

Gameplay:

In Betrayal, you play as a group of adventurers who are exploring a mysterious house. Players take turns moving around the house discovering rooms and drawing cards for Items, Events, and Omens. Items are useful things, such as a magical tool or a weapon.  Events may cause the player’s stats to be increased or decreased by a lucky (or unlucky) dice roll. Lastly, the Omen cards will force the player to make a haunt roll. An unlucky dice roll will trigger the second stage of the game, the Haunt.

Betrayal gameplay example

When the Haunt begins, the specific Omen that the player drew will trigger a specific horror-themed scenario. (such as a ghostly possession, vampire attack, mad scientist, etc). Based on the specific scenario, one player of the group may turn into a traitor. The traitor will actively work against the other characters. The remaining heroes must work together to survive and meet the criteria to win.  All while the traitor will attempt to kill off the heroes or prevent them from succeeding in their task.

Betrayal scenario books

There are 50 different scenarios in the original game, and +50 more with the expansion. Each time you play the game you will encounter a new horror-themed trope.

Betrayal character tokens

Our Experience:

The original game is very smooth to play, and the written rules for each scenario are easy to understand. You can tell that it was extensively play-tested to make sure everything was clearly explained. I love that each Item, Event, and Omen card has a short little story to set the scene. The creators put a lot of time, effort, and attention into thinking of all of these horror themes and spooky events.

In our experience, the Widows Walk expansion is not as smooth and did not seem as extensively play-tested. The rules for the expansion scenarios are more difficult to understand and there seem to be some minor errors and inconsistencies. However, I like the new room tiles and new Item/Event/Omen cards and love seeing them when they are drawn in the game.

One downside to this game is that the original box does a poor job of keeping the various cards/figurines/tokens/etc organized and accessible. I finally invested in two Broken Token Box organizers (one for House on the Hill, one for Baldur’s Gate). Although the box organizers were an expensive investment for this game, they are worth every penny!

Betrayal game pieces in the broken token box organizers.
Betrayal Box Organizers by Broken Token
Broken Token Box Organizers

The best part:

The best thing about this game is its replay value. With 50 different scenarios in the original, and 100 total with the expansion, you will always be able to find something new in the game. We have had the original game and the expansion for several years now. Even though we play it frequently during game nights, we still have plenty of scenarios left. The basic rules of gameplay stay constant across the scenarios. It is pretty easy to adapt to the changes for the different individual scenarios.

Players and ages:

This cooperative/hybrid game is for 3-6 players. The manufacturer recommends ages 12+. The rules of this game are slightly different for each scenario, this is a pretty accurate age recommendation. Each round of play is 60-80 minutes, depending on how much discussion your group gets into during gameplay.

Games:

Recommended Accessories:

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from any links.

Fundrise – Portfolio Performance Update

For the past 3 years I have been increasing my real estate investment via my Fundrise portfolio.  My account is now diversified into 10 different eREIT and eFunds.  My returns slowed since last post, but that was expected.  Let’s take a look.

September 2019 Portfolio:

As of the end of September 2019, my portfolio includes 187 active projects.  This is an increase of 64 projects over my last update. My account has shifted into more equity based projects by about ~400bps.  This shift is driven by both my selection of eREITs to invest in, and the reinvestment of dividends. With 3 months remaining in the calendar year, my year to date returns are at 3.5%. My total annual returns are at 5.7%.  This is expected as I entered into new funds this year that have not started to provide returns.  My annual return rate should increase over the next year or two as those funds stabilize.

My portfolio performance as of September 2019
My portfolio performance

Top Performing Position

My top performing eREIT for 2019 is the East Coast eREIT.  This investment’s YTD return rate is already at 6.5% and growing.  The growth I am seeing is about 2/3 dividends and 1/3 appreciation.  Fundrise explains that this fund acquires a balance of both debt and equity in commercial real estate located in the East Coast region of the United States.  This investment intends to obtain a fixed rate of return that maximizes current income and equity. 

Reinvestment Options

My main goal with this investment platform is to maximize for long term growth.  Fundrise provides an easy route to grow your portfolio.  They disperse dividends every quarter and I have selected to automatically reinvest those dividends.  My dividend reinvestment’s follow the Long-Term Grown investment plan that Fundrise provides.  The intent of the plan is to provide maximum returns over the long run.

Join Me

If you would like to join me on this real estate investment journey, click the link below. Both of us will receive 90 days of zero advisory fees.

Join Fundrise Today!


*I am not a financial planner and all of the above is personal opinion and performance. Your performance and experiences may differ.

Board Game Review – Forbidden Desert

I’m excited to talk about another fantastic Gamewright game, Forbidden Desert. Just like Forbidden Island that I wrote about in a previous post, Forbidden Desert is a very easy to learn game. It is quick and simple to play, and we use it as a mini-break after finishing a more complex game.

Forbidden Desert Game Start

Gameplay:

In Forbidden Desert, your goal is to find four pieces of a Leonardo Davinci style flying machine and escape from a desert sandstorm. Players must work quickly to figure out the location of the missing parts. The location tiles slowly (or quickly) get covered with layers of sand. The players must also keep an eye on their water supply, as dehydration is a killer. Sharing water with each other becomes necessary for survival.

Forbidden Desert - Gameplay Example

There are different item cards that allow you to do things like protect yourself from the sun or remove multiple layers of sand from a location tile. Each player is assigned a different character role. The different roles will help you move quicker around the board, remove sand from location tiles, or share water with teammates.

Forbidden Desert - Player Roles

Each player will begin their turn by taking actions such as moving, searching, or removing sand. Next, that player will then draw cards to move the eye of the sandstorm around and add sand to location tiles that shifted. All players win if they can find the missing parts and gather together to escape. All players lose if all of the sand tiles run out, or if a player dies of dehydration.

The best part:

Forbidden Desert is a great example of a game with easy-to-learn rules and mechanics. It is a fantastic way to teach “board game logic” to an adult or child new to gaming. I like Forbidden Desert more than Forbidden Island, and I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s because the location tiles move around on the table. Possibly because the dehydration factor adds some complexity to the game. It could just be the adorable flying machine.

Publisher:

I am a big fan of the company that makes Forbidden Desert, as they are a great publisher of family games.  I use Gamewright games frequently in my job as a speech pathologist and always snap them up if I see them at a thrift store. Another really cool thing is that many of their games use the same basic game play rules as the cooperative game Pandemic. Pandemic is insanely successful and  spawned a huge series of expansions, stand-alone games, and legacy games. So, if you learn how to play Forbidden Desert,  you can easily transfer your knowledge to other Forbidden games and the Pandemic suite of games.

Players and ages:

Forbidden Desert is a cooperative game is for 2-4 players. The manufacturer recommends ages 10+. Because the game is so simple to learn, it is very appropriate for children aged 8+. Each round of play will last about 30 minutes.

Games:

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from any links.

Board Game Review – Forbidden Island

I am excited to talk about a fantastic board game called Forbidden Island by Gamewright. This is a great game for both adults and kids. It is very easy to learn and quick to play. Forbidden Island won multiple awards in the years after it was published. Gamewright also published two other similar games; Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Sky.

Forbidden Island - Board Setup

Gameplay:

In Forbidden Island, you play as a group of explorers who work together to find hidden artifacts and escape to safety. The group must work quickly to locate the missing items before the island sinks.

Forbidden Island - Charater Roles

Each player selects a character role. The different roles will help you move quicker around the board, prevent the island from sinking, and help you find the artifacts. Each player has several actions to choose from on their turn. They can move, search for an artifact, or shore up a tile. To find an artifact players, must be on the appropriate tile and have 4 of a kind of the matching artifact cards.

Forbidden Island - Artifacts

At the end of the players turn they will sink the island by drawing cards to “flood” (flip over) or “sink” (remove) location tiles from game play. All players win if they can find the missing artifacts and gather together on the helicopter pad tile to escape. All players lose if the tile that holding a missing artifact or the helicopter pad tile sinks.

The best part:

I am a huge fan of games that have very simple game mechanics, and Forbidden Island is a great example. For this reason, this game is ideal for adults and children new to gaming. 

Players and ages:

This cooperative game is for 2-4 players. The manufacturer recommends ages 10+. This game is so simple to learn and is appropriate for children aged 8+. Each round of play will last about 30 minutes.

Games:

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from any links.

Board Game Review – Massive Darkness

The game title isn’t kidding, this game is massive! Massive Darkness by CMON is a cooperative role-playing game (RPG) for up to 6 players. This game is dungeon master-less, and all players will be working with the same goals to defeat the dungeon’s many monsters. The game includes 75 figurines, 280 cards and a bunch of tokens. You and your friends take turns kicking down doors, fighting monsters and collecting loot, all while trying to make it out alive.

Over the weekend my friends and I learned the rules. We then worked our way through the tutorial quest and the first mission. The tutorial was relatively quick, but I think the first mission took us close to 5 hours to complete. Now the game says 90 mins, but our group is pretty slow when it comes to RPGs. We like to discuss all routes and ways to stay alive.

Massive Darkness first mission
Our late night with the first mission.

Without a dungeon master, the monsters function with a set of rules to chase, stab and murder the players.  Additionally, depending on the card draw, the monsters form a mob.  The mob will have a boss that carries and uses a piece of loot, while being protected by its minions (equal to the number of players).  With a difficult door or event card draw, players can become overwhelmed in a hurry.

Massive Darkness Miniatures
The base game includes 75 detailed miniatures.

Play passes around the table, with each hero taking up to 3 actions to open doors, pickup loot, trade gear and/or fight monsters.  Players will have to work together to defeat swarms as they progress through the quest.  As the team moves through the board the monsters get harder, but the loot gets sweeter.

Player Board
The base game includes the plastic player boards which is a great addition to an RPG game.

Overall the combat was easy to learn and looting is a lot of fun.  We saved our progress on the campaign that is included in the base game.  Additionally there are quite a few expansion packs which can mix up the monsters you run into.  I will blog again soon about our progress and the inclusion of the expansion packs.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from any links.

Fundrise – Real Estate for all Portfolio Sizes


Fundrise is a real estate investing platform that I came across in August of 2016. This program interests me, as it has large growth potential over a long term investment. This program is not a liquid investment, and can take some time to liquidate funds.

Portfolio Options:

Fundrise has some lower-cost packages to allow newer investors the chance to try out their service with a smaller initial investment.  Their lowest investment package is a $500 starter portfolio and it has a 90 day money back guarantee.  But if you bump up to $1,000 you can move into any of the advanced portfolios for free.  Back in 2016, I started out with a $1,000 investment. Over the past two years, I have seen a lot of growth, and I have continually added additional funds to my portfolio. I am now invested in 123 projects across most of Fundrise’s real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Fundrise Portfolio Project Count
My Fundrise Project Chart

The Best Part:

The cool part about these REITs is that you receive regular updates about the real estate you are invested in. Also, the share value will fluctuate with the performance. I recently chose to fund a couple of their new REITs so I could experience the program from start to finish. I do not expect a return right away, but look forward to the potential return of the future.

My Performance:

  • 7.4% Annually

I am excited for the future of this program and will continue to grow my investment. If you would like to join me on this investment journey, click the link below. Both of us will receive 90 days of zero advisory fees.

https://fundrise.com/r/qgp9k

*I am not a financial planner and all of the above is personal opinion and performance. Your performance and experiences may differ.


Board Game Review – Mysterium

Today I am going to share Mysterium by Asmodee. We first played this game at ValorCon 2016, and our friend liked it so much she bought it that very day. It has since become her favorite game, and travels with her frequently to gaming weekends. 

Gameplay:

In Mysterium, you play either as the spirit of a ghost, or as the psychics that are trying to solve the ghost’s murder. The ghost can only communicate with the players by giving them vision cards with strange, surrealistic drawings. The vision cards suggest clues to the identity of the murderer, the location it took place, and the weapon.  The psychics can discuss their interpretation of the different cards with each other. To win the game, all psychics must guess their individual suspect, location, and weapon (original) or motive (expansions) within the first 7 rounds. They must then determine  which psychic has found the truth  of the ghost’s murder in the last, final round.

The ghost:

The ghost is never allowed to speak with the other players. He or she can only give clues to their murder through the vision cards, or by giving a yes/no signal to tell players if their guesses were correct or incorrect. He or she cannot do anything that might accidentally give a cue to the psychics.  However, the player characters can speak freely to each other, including friendly trash-talking about the poor quality of the ghost’s visions. Since the ghost is unable to use any rude gestures to respond to friendly trash-talking, he or she will have to be satisfied with a reproachful glare in response.

4 Player Ghost Setup With first Hand
4 Player Ghost Setup with First Hand

 What I like the most:

What I like the most about this game being part of the cooperative debate  several other players. And the more players, the better! The most fun time we played this game was during a New Years Eve party with a full set of 7 players.

Our friend loves this game so much she invested in a box insert to keep things better organized. The artwork is lovely and there are several expansions that add more vision cards and different clues.

Players and Ages:

Mysterium is a cooperative game for 2-7 players, and is great for larger groups. It will take about 40-50 minutes to play one round. It is recommended for ages 10+, but older elementary-age children should be able to play without difficulty. 

Games and Expansions:

Recommended Accessories:


*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from any links.

Board Game Review – Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters

Ever wanted to find treasure in an abandoned mansion? So did we. The ghosts were not into that idea at all. Apparently, neither were the dice as our rolls were really bad.  Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters by Mattel is easy to learn but tough to win. We first watched the game played at GenCon 2017 at the Mattel booth and bought it on the spot.

Ghost Fighting Board

This game is for 2-4 players and takes about 20 mins to play.  Play goes around the table.  Each player rolls the movement dice, places ghosts, collects jewels, and battles any nearby ghosts.  Players need to plan ahead as the furthest jewels can be the hardest to get to, especially when you are not rolling well.

As the game progresses, the rooms fill up with cute little ghosts.  If you are not managing them, the smaller ghosts will combine to form a Haunting.  If you are in the room with a Haunting, any players carrying a jewel are trapped in the room until a friend comes to help you defeat the Haunting.  The game ends if there are 6 Hauntings within the mansion. We played 3 games in a row, and the jewels are still protected in the house by many scary ghosts.

Ghost Fighting Ghosts

We learned a few tricks along the way, and I hope they work better for you than they did for us.  If we got a good roll of 5 or 6 movement spaces, we would take shortcuts through rooms to bypass the hallways.  For our bad rolls, we would intentionally stop short so that we could fight ghosts already on the board.  Lastly, we tried to collect the furthest jewels first and then work our way back.

Overall we really enjoyed this game.  We will be back soon, hopefully with better luck, in hopes of taking the mansion’s treasure from those pesky ghosts.

Games:

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from any links.