A New Name & New Streams of Income
November 07, 2019
My regular readers know that my Profitable Investing advisory focuses on dividend-paying stocks as well as bonds and other income-generating investments.
And I bring many of those ideas to you each and every week in this Digest.
But you’ve probably noticed that lately I’ve been advocating a number of “side-hustle” ideas for earning extra income on top of the great dividend-paying investments I’ve called your attention to for years.
While I’ll continue to recommend various income-producing stocks, bonds and funds in this letter going forward, it won’t just focus on dividends. I will also call out more and more alternative income streams that you can use to put some extra cash in your pockets right away.
And with that in mind, I’m pleased to announce this letter’s new name: Income Investor’s Digest.
Many of the ideas I’ll share with you in Income Investor’s Digest come from my new book, Income for Life.
Note: Be sure to whitelist our new email address as well so you don’t miss any of these great ideas: IncomeInvestorsDigest@exct.investorplace.com
In the book, I present a myriad of investment ideas in the financial markets. But I also have included a wide variety of alternative income-generating ideas that create both active and passive income.
All of them are straight-forward with specific instructions so that anyone can put them to work.
Today, I’ll share another one of the 65 chapters in the book that can help you on your way to gaining financial independence.
It’s a great idea for generating income from the vast market for ATMs (Automated Teller Machines).
Building Your Personal ATM Empire
If you’re reading this, your financial IQ is clearly higher than the average American.
That probably means you care almost as much about your outgoing expenses as you do about income.
After all, financial security is built not just on how much you’ve earned, but also on how much you’ve spent.
Folks who are good with money realize this and understand it isn’t just about saying “no” to overpriced coffees or running up credit card debt.
Saving money is also about reading the fine print and avoiding hidden fees.
Right now, you may be rolling your eyes at these obvious facts, wondering how these tired clichés about personal finance have made it into an investing book.
So, I’ll cut right to the chase: Those hidden fees are an income-producing gold mine if you’re on the right side of them.
Millions of people don’t have the knowledge about money or, frankly, the patience to read the fine print on the most common banking fees. And for better or worse, millions more simply don’t have the means to avoid the expensive realities of the most frequent transaction charges.
I’m talking, of course, about ATM fees.
An ATM is literally a cash factory. And thanks to the rise of companies that provide machines directly to people like you, there’s no reason you can’t build your own mini banking empire.
How an ATM Empire Adds Up
Anyone who has taken cash out of an ATM outside their personal bank network knows firsthand how these devices can rack up fees in a hurry.
It’s not uncommon for a $20 withdrawal to add on $5 in fees.
That’s a 25% rate of return on your “investment” if you’re the one fronting the cash. That kind of yield is an income investor’s dream.
Now think of the other side of the equation. All you need is the machine to dispense cash and a few thousand dollars in $20 bills to stock it and presto… those “swipe fees” are now yours for the taking!
To the typical consumer, a few dollars per transaction doesn’t even register.
But savvy income investors realize it’s not about the size of the fee but the frequency.
Here’s how you can build your own personal ATM empire and how to make it add up in your favor.
Find a good location
Obviously, you can’t just dump an ATM on a street corner and expect it to get used.
Ideal locations have a lot of foot traffic and built-in demand for cash. Think smaller convenience stores that sell lotto tickets or your local coffee shop.
And even if things feel right, an ATM needs reliable power and communication with banks to wire over the money and, of course, surveillance to make sure it’s not at risk of being stolen.
Research ATM machines
A quick internet search will give you a host of options to purchase or finance the hardware.
Some, like ATMMoneyMachine.com, are all-in-one operations that allow you to lease an ATM for a minimal upfront expense.
Others, like ATMDepot.com, also offer used or refurbished devices if you don’t desire a fancy new model. Remember that picking an ATM machine is like buying a car… the right model depends on the “options” you want.
For instance, a brand-new machine with 24-hour tech support and wireless monitoring via your smartphone will be very low maintenance but cost you more up front.
A used model may be cheaper but will require you to visit the location more often.
Run the numbers
Let’s say you find a location where you have confidence 10 people each day will use your ATM, generating a surcharge of $2.50 per transaction.
That’s $25 a day, or about $750 each month!
So, if you buy a machine for $1,500, it theoretically pays for itself in two months.
If that sounds attractive, then consider buying two or three. It’s all about your personal finances and cash flow needs.
Strike a deal on location before buying
This is the most important part: After the numbers are right and you’re comfortable with your ATM choice, you have to make sure you have a legal right to the space.
Smaller eateries or independent gas stations are often up for anything that makes their lives easier, so they may relish the opportunity to ring up small transactions in cash instead of paying Visa all those credit card fees.
Or you could simply offer a flat rate of $10 a week or $50 a month… a small price to pay if you begin making hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month in fees.
Whatever you do, just get that deal in writing.
Don’t neglect your ATMs!
The flow of fees will dry up in a hurry if your ATM runs out of cash, so make sure you regularly check in to keep it stocked.
And, of course, make sure that everything is operating as normal and there are no technical issues.
You can save a pretty penny performing your own maintenance, too. So if you’re handy, you may want to spend some downtime watching YouTube videos that address common problems on your ATM of choice.
One final note: Unlike some other methods, an ATM empire isn’t a hands-off enterprise. Researching machines and locations requires time and keeping them running is real work.
However, a quick look at the numbers shows just how powerful this strategy can be.
A network of ATMs generating 100 transactions each day at $5 in fees adds up to $182,500 in your pocket per year.
It may take some time to do it right, but like all things in life, you just need to keep your eyes on the goal and put in the effort.
Those who are entrepreneurial or like tinkering with electronics may not even find it work at all!
And, of course, thumbing through all those stacks of cash every day is sure to make the time go by even faster.
Now, building a network of ATMs to generate extra cash might not seem like one of my usual ideas for income, but it is just one of the of 65 income streams—from investing to side hustles that anyone can easily achieve—that I’ve written about in my new book, Income for Life.
If you’re looking for better returns in the market or just want to make some extra cash, I highly encourage you to check out Income for Life. It includes nearly 400 pages of income-producing investment strategies for all economic conditions as well as additional income-generating “side hustles” that anyone can use successfully.
All My Best,
Editor, Income Investor’s Digest & Profitable Investing
Author, Income for Life