The VIJ Financial Literacy Program For Teens Is Seeking Your Help

The VIJ Financial Literacy Program For Teens Is Seeking Your Help

Out of 13 years of formal schooling – I wasn’t able to go to college due to severe health issues – I learned about investing and basic financial literacy for only 3 or 4 months of that time.

And even then, it was the very basics of everything.

This is a disgrace.

And I’ve always thought this made zero sense.

Lack of financial literacy is a huge reason people get into massive debt, make unwise financial and life decisions, and just get by on a month to month basis.

After more than a decade of being in the financial realm I have many thoughts on why financial literacy isn’t taught in schools. But this is a different post…

Plus, I don’t believe in making excuses when you can make a difference.

Today I’m announcing that my team and I are putting together a new program to do our part in educating people about basic financial literacy.

This new program focuses on teaching disadvantaged teens in my local, Tampa, Florida area, financial literacy and is called our VIJ Financial Literacy Program For Teens.

We’re teaching these kids not only basic financial literacy skills to help them now, but also to help them over their entire lives get out of and stay out of poverty.

I’ve partnered with my local library to put this program on to teach these at-risk kids about the following things…

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Good and bad debt
  • How to budget
  • Should they go to college?
  • If not, what other options are there?
  • How to make money
  • How to save money
  • How to multiply money and how to get work towards getting rich
  • The power of self-belief and how to get more self-confidence
  • Entrepreneurship
  • And much more…

But I need your help…

These Kids Need Your Help

With 11+ years of experience in finance and investing, I know a lot about this area. And I think we’re putting together a fantastic program that will help these kids.

But, this is my first time putting together a program for and teaching teens so I’m sure I’m missing some important lessons that you know.

I talk about this more in the 6-minute video below…

I’m looking for your recommendations for lessons to teach these kids so we can help change their lives and help them get out of and stay out of poverty.

So I’ve got two questions for you that will help me shape this program for the better…

  • If you have teens what would you like your kids to learn about in a financial literacy program like this?
  • What would you have liked to learn in your teens about these kinds of topics that you now know?

Please let me know in the comments below so we can change these kids lives for the better.

I’ll keep you updated on this program as it nears in late April.

P.S. If you’d like to become a sponsor and / or partner in this kind of program please email me directly at, with the subject VIJ Financial Literacy Program.

P.P.S. If you want to learn more info like this to become a great value investor fast and at a fraction of the cost of a normal university, check out our new Value Investing 6 Week MasterclassThe entire first week of the course is all about developing the proper value investing mindset.

2014 And 2015 Portfolio Reviews – Still Kicking Mr. Market’s Ass

2014 and 2015 Portfolio Reviews

Still Kicking Mr. Markets Ass

The above quote from Benjamin Graham is one of my favorites.

It means in the short-term the market is driven by emotion and psychology more than anything.  But in the long-term the market – and individual stocks – get judged on how well they’ve operated and grown over time.

This is great news for us long-term oriented value investors.

If we can find a few great companies at cheap to fair prices and hold them for the long-term, we’ll have great returns over time.  Why?  Because…

“Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.”  Warren Buffett

With this as a backdrop, below are the 2014 and 2015 portfolio reviews for all companies I’ve recommended.

For links to 20122013, and 2013 updated numbers portfolio reviews go to previous links…  Cumulative gains below combine 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 results together.


I realized when doing my 2015 portfolio review that I didn’t do a review of 2014.  So I’ve included both 2014 and 2015 portfolio reviews in this post.

I didn’t do much in 2014 because I started a business at the beginning of the year.  Didn’t buy or sell anything for almost a full year.  And got hired by the investment newsletter in September 2014.

These are why I didn’t write a portfolio review for 2014 here.

Below are 2014 portfolio results.

  • CMT gained 2% in 2014.
  • VIVHY gained 3% in 2014 before I sold my position on June 4th 2014 for a total gain of 50% in less than two years.
  • BOBS lost 15.4% during 2014 before getting bought on May 2015 for a total 129% gain.  I’ll get back to this in the 2015 section.
  • PARF lost 21.7% in 2014.
  • Cash earned 0% in 2014.  And this was my biggest position after selling and getting bought out in several positions.

Average gain in 2014 was 3% after including 50% realized gain from sold Vivendi position.

For context on the following numbers please read the 2012 and 2013 portfolio reviews linked above.

Cumulative average gain for my stock picks at the end of three years is 101.1%.  Or an average gain of 33.7% each year. (Not a compounded gain).

Cumulative average three-year portfolio gain equals 64.9%.  Or 22.6% each year over the last three years after accounting for cash position.  Cash made up more than 50% of portfolio for most of 2013 and 2014 after selling several positions.

Not a great year by earlier years standards but I expected a drop in results after huge years in 2012 and 2013.  I’ll explain why at the end of this post.

For now let’s got to 2015.


I included two picks I made while working at the investment newsletter in 2015’s results.  The spreadsheet is below.


I’ve blocked out the names of the picks above for non Press On Research subscribers.  If you’re a Press On Research subscriber I’m sending an unedited version of the spreadsheet your way.

If you’d like to know what the companies are you need to subscribe to Press On Research.  And remember Value Investing Journey free subscribers get a 50% discount on a Press On Research subscription.

Press On Research picks gained on average 5% as of the end of 2015.

Like in 2014, 2015 wasn’t a great year for my picks either.  Even with this down year we still beat most investors.   Almost 70% of investors lost money in 2015.  And unlike the investors who lost money we continued to grow our money.

As noted above I sold out of BOBS after it got bought out in May 2015 for a total gain of 129%.

Cumulative average stock gains for my stock picks at the end of four years are 168.1%.  (Not a compounded gain)  Or an average gain every year for four years of 42%.

Cumulative average four-year portfolio gain equals 109.6% after accounting for cash position.  Or an average gain every year for four years of 27.4%.  (Not a compounded gain)

Cash made up more than 50% of portfolios for most of 2013, 2014, and 2015 after multiple sales of companies.

What does this mean?  That we’ve kicked Mr. Market’s ass over the last four years.

What’s Mr. Market Done Since 2012?

From the beginning of 2012 to the end of 2015 the Russell 3000 index gained 38%.  Or an average gain of 12.7% every year.  This index includes the 3,000 largest companies listed on US stock markets.  This is the closest thing to a micro cap index.

This means my stock picks have crushed the market by 130.1 total percentage points.  And the whole portfolio beat the market by 71.6 total percentage points since the beginning of 2012.  Even when over the last three plus years the portfolios I manage had more than 50% cash positions earning zero.

How big of a difference is this over time?

Let’s say you invested $100,000 in my stock picks at the beginning of 2012 until December 31st 2015.  At the end of four years – with no new additions in money – your money would have grown from $100,000 to $406,587.

If you followed the same above, but instead invested 50%+ of your portfolio in cash like I did, your $100,000 would turn into $263,438 at the end of the last four years.

The Russell 3000 index would have turned your $100,000 into $161,323 after the last four years.

I could have made you $102,115 and $245,264 in excess of what the market would have.

I started posting my results publicly in 2012 because this is when I began doing “real”, in-depth, investment research and analysis instead of speculating.

Results have been great thus far…  Better than I expected… But there’s still a lot of work and improvement to do as seen from the last two years subpar results.

Conclusion Thoughts

As expected my average gain per year over the last two years dropped a lot.

With the market’s continued rise I’ve sold or gotten bought out of most positions.  At one point the portfolios I managed held only two companies.  And until late 2014 I wasn’t able to deploy any of the cash towards better use.

At its height after multiple sales of companies cash in the portfolios I manage was 85% of the portfolios.  This of course means lower returns.

I also knew I wasn’t going to repeat the huge gains earned in 2013 due to the markets ever rising valuations.  This made it harder to find great and cheap companies.  In 2012 and 2013 the market was still fairly to a bit overvalued making it easier to find cheap companies then.

No matter what the market continues to do, over time I’m confident we’ll continue to beat the market by a wide margin.  And continue to compound our wealth over time.

But this isn’t all we’ve done in the last few years…

Since Value Investing Journey started on a free WordPress site until now on a paid WordPress site there have been more than 200,000 total views on the joint sites.

And after coming back from the investment newsletter at the beginning of 2015 there have been a lot of changes and improvements on the blog.

The major change being the blog is now dedicated towards helping others instead of myself.

Some other highlights from 2015 are below.

Here’s looking forward to an even bigger and better 2016.

Thanks so much for everyone who’s been a part of this journey so far.  And please let me know how I can continue to improve things going forward in the comments below.

Jason Rivera

P.S.  And remember if you want access to my exclusive stock picks that are crushing the market over the last four years you need to subscribe to Press On Research.  And free Value Investing Journey subscribers get a 50% discount on a year-long Press On Research subscription.

First Sponsored Child – Look What We’ve Done In Only 9 Months

First Sponsored Child

Look What We’ve Done In Only 9 Months

Years ago when I began learning about value investing I came across Jae Jun’s great site Old School Value.  First off, if you’ve never gone to the site it’s a must read for every value investor.  And you should go read everything on the site now.

Second, there was something else that intrigued me about the site…

Most investment/finance related sites concentrate only on profits, losses, expenditures, valuation, balance sheets, etc.  This is fine.  But the ones making a difference are the ones I continue to go back to over the years.

This is why I try to help as many people as possible.  And Jae does this as well.

How?  Go to the About Page on OSV.  After you read the parts introducing Jae and his family you’ll be about halfway down the page.  Stop where it says “Our Mission and Story.”

Read all this.  And click on the links in this part of the page to learn more about how Jae and his family “sponsor” kids in countries around the world.

His goal is to sponsor more than 1,000 kids around the world over time.  And he can do this because of the money he makes from his blog and valuation software services.

I knew when I first came across sponsorship years ago that once Value Investing Journey started making money we were going to sponsor kids too.  But we’ll get back to this later.  First I need to answer the following question.

What does sponsoring a child mean?

What Does Sponsoring A Child Mean?

Value investors either have enough “excess” money to invest.  Or are working towards that goal one day at a time.  But many around the world struggle just to survive day-to-day.

These people don’t have the luxury of caring about future aspirations other than where my kid’s next meal will come from.  Or where am I going to sleep tonight.

This is where sponsoring comes in.

When you sponsor a child it means you help the child and their family by sending them money every month that will go towards education.  Clothing.  Health and dental care.  And food and other necessities for the family.

In other words you become part of the child’s family helping them to survive and thrive.

This sponsorship goes through a charitable agency who selects kids and families based on their needs.  You give the charity money.  And they take care of the logistical work.

Once you find a child you want to sponsor you can even visit the child – the charity helps with this – if you want to.  So you can see firsthand if your money’s spent well.

That’s the kind of accountability I love to see.

So what does Jae Jun sponsoring kids have to do with us here at Value Investing Journey and Press On Research?

Well because of you subscribers and readers we’ve now sponsored our first child.  And taken up Jae’s challenge to get to 1,000 sponsored kids.

Our First Sponsored Child

Meet four-year-old Mhicaella from the Philippines.  Sponsored through Children’s International.


Not only will we help support Mhicaella.  But also her younger sister and parents.  Who combined live on less than $120 a month – less than $4 a day for a family of four – in Quezon City.

Our $32 a month donation will increase this families earning power by 27% a month.  And help provide clothing, food, health and dental care, education, and shelter for her and her family.

With our help hopefully they can get ahead.  Stop just surviving.  And start building for the future.

I keep saying our and we because without you subscribing to Value Investing Journey and Press On Research.  And without you buying How To Value Invest none of this would be possible.

I’m very proud of this and I hope you are too.

I said when starting Press On Research in April that at least 5% of proceeds from all services and products would go toward charity.  Well I’m proud to say that this goal’s been exceeded.

More than 10% of proceeds from the above sources have gone to charity this year.  And I hope we’re able to up this again next year.

If you would like to donate or buy any of the products and services I offer.  Hire me for freelance work.  Again where part of proceeds go to charity.  Please contact me at either or

Thank you all so much again.  And here’s hoping for an even bigger year next year so we can sponsor more kids and do more for those in need.  Let’s continue to follow the words of Henry Ford…

To find out more information about why I’m doing this read this post.  And the Service I Offer page.

And if you have any questions or comments about any of this please let me know in the comments below.