Many people might be interested to know the tools I use, books I read, and other things that interest me. Rather than answering the same questions ad nauseum. It's helpful to have a list here to benefit everyone.
I said benefit everyone, so please know there are affiliate links on this page. None of them will cost you extra to use, a few may get you a bonus of some sort, but using them ultimately helps me keep a little more income flowing in.
I only share links to items that I have personal experience with and believe in. I'll keep it updated as things change.
How it all began
Web Development & Management + Small Business
Accounting Software: Freshbooks is far more user-friendly than Quickbooks for my situation. Plenty of integrations and they roll out new features on a semi-frequent basis.
Current Headphones: Apple Airpods Pro. They just work flawlessly in my experience. That is all.
Current Laptop: 2020 MacBook Pro 13″. Sadly, my 2015 MacBook tapped out a few months before the M1 versions debuted, so I was forced to stick with Intel for now. I’m pleased to see the return of Magsafe & the SD card slot on the newest models, so I guess it was missing out in the short-term.
Current Phone: Apple iPhone 11 Pro w/256GB. I have no desire nor need to upgrade anytime soon.
Code Editor: Visual Studio Code
Domains: Mainly Google Domains, but it depends on the situation. Anything but GoDaddy; PITA
Music (for focusing): Tidal for the audiophile in me, plus they pay the artists a better share than other platforms. The also have discounts for military veterans, students & first responders.
Password Manager: Dashlane makes this part of my world a whole lot easier.
Virtual Phone Number: Skype was okay, but OpenPhone provides better features and a slicker user experience. Never had issues with the iPhone app. The only caveat is that their numbers often get rejected for text verification when signing up for a service. I’ve used a Google Voice number as a backup (not sure if those are still free).
Web Hosting Partner: Kinsta is the best WordPress host I’ve used, hands down. If you’re serious about the security and speed of your own website, or you host client websites, this is the way to go. It’s more expensive than you may be used to, but the hosting platform, admin features and support are truly top-tier.
Cryptocurrency & Banking
First thing first, get a hardware wallet at the very start of your crypto journey. This is also known as an offline wallet or cold storage. If you don't own the private keys, you DO NOT own your crypto! Not to say that certain exchanges aren't secure, but I would never store the majority of my assets online. Just ask anyone affected by Celsius blocking withdrawals due to extreme market volatility.
My hardware wallet of choice is the Ledger Nano X. Only purchase from the official website. This is not something you want a "great deal" on because any hardware wallet you find on eBay or another unauthorized source could potentially be hacked. Besides, they're relatively cheap when you think of the assets they protect. Even though they're available on Amazon now, I'd still purchase directly. I'm just super-cautious that way.
Due to current market conditions, and the fact that it's still the "Wild Wild West" in the crypto space, I won't list any exchanges where you can purchase crypto. Please do your own research and go with your gut instincts, but ALWAYS move your assets into cold storage as soon as possible.
Wise (formerly TransferWise): The best service I’ve found for cheap currency conversion and fast international transfers. I can’t stress enough how much easier this has made my life. Depending on the currency (AUD, EUR or USD for example), you can get local bank details and receive deposits. Transfers are instant (that’s a big deal in Germany) depending on which bank I’m sending to, and you can get debit card good for worldwide use without foreign transaction fees. Personal and business accounts are available (you can hold both).
Crypto.com: Popular and great exchange that a friend put me on to. No-hassle crypto purchases via debit card if you don’t want to wait on bank transfers. They have native Visa debit cards with different tiers, cashback and other rewards. The app has a great design and it’s easy to do research.
Kraken: A solid exchange which is also on the way to becoming the first official bank for crypto in the US. You can also use a debit card for purchases.
Nexo: They relisted XRP a few months ago, offer daily compounding interest on your crypto assets, and instant loans using your crypto as collateral so you don’t have to sell positions if you need cash.
Uphold: Great because they never dropped XRP after the SEC hit Ripple with the lawsuit, so I was still able to buy it as a US citizen. Be careful what you buy though. Some assets (XLM for example) can’t be transferred to an external wallet. Also releated to Uphold, check out my post about securing the XRP Mastercard debit card while it’s still available.
Wise (formerly TransferWise): The best service I’ve found for cheap currency conversion and fast international transfers. I can’t stress enough how much easier this has made my life. Depending on the currency (AUD, EUR or USD for example), you can get local bank details and receive deposits. Transfers are instant (that’s a big deal in Germany) depending on which bank I’m sending to and you can get a worldwide debit card. Personal and business accounts are available (you can hold both).
Books & Podcasts
The Candid Frame: The photography podcast I’ve stuck with out of all the others available. An accomplished photographer, educator and author, host Ibarionex Perello masterfully interviews photographers from all genres and backgrounds.
Earn Your Leisure: This is a SOLID financial podcast. I’ve followed these brothas since very shortly after they began, and it’s impressive to see how they’ve grown their platform in just a few years. Their consistency and the quality of information they share (mostly for free by the way) is incredible. They truly care about Black culture and work every day to see that we better our financial position on a global scale without compromising their integrity.
My Exit Plan: Getting My House In Order by Rhonda D. Green: Full disclosure: this is a client of mine. The fact is however, that she provides a very valuable insight and has decades of experience in helping people with a topic that we avoid out of fear. If you care about your loved ones and don’t want to leave them in distress when you pass away, picking up this book & workbook then ACTING on the information will set your mind at ease.
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles:
The Way of Superior Man by David Deida:
My daily camera combo is the Fujifilm X-T4 w/the XF16-80mm F4 lens. I was eying the Fujifilm X100V, but they were too hard to find at the time. I wanted a solid street camera that would prevent the temptation to buy a bunch of lenses, so we’ll see how it goes. For film, I have a reliable Canon AE-1 Program.