At the beginning of this Amazing Tale series I wrote a brief introduction and described myself as an investor: I put my money to work. (See From Small Change to Serious Moneyfrom Day 1.) Because I am an investor, I tend to see things from an investor perspective.

[insert_php] include(‘ptc-blurb-inc.html’); [/insert_php]

I ask myself things like…

  • How much am I willing to invest, and for how long?
  • What is a reasonable Return On Investment (ROI)?
  • What is the risk involved?
  • How much do I stand to lose, or gain?
  • Is this the best use of this money?

I have always referred to spending in the Paid-To-Click sector as “investing” because I am expecting my money to return a profit over time, and I expect my profit will be increasing over time. Here on Day 800 of my PTC journey, I have INVESTED $2,228 and I have received $2,335 back.

Day 800
Day 800
Day 800
Day 800

That’s a net profit of $107, or about a 4.8% return on investment. My investment has been paid back entirely, plus an additional five percent. Is that a good investment?


A 4.8% ROI over a 27-month period is not, in my opinion, an outstanding investment. But it beats what my money would have earned in a bank savings or money market account. (Bank interest rates at this time are at historic lows, and will probably remain so for several more years.) This is the sort of risk/reward calculation that an investor makes.

When I buy and sell stocks over at Etrade I generally expect an average annual return of 6%-9%. I am a “buy and hold” investor, meaning that I will purchase shares in a company and keep them for a long time, perhaps 10 years or more. I still own shares in some companies that I bought back in 1999, when I first began investing.

I am not a frequent trader, but there is one thing I do consistently:

IF/WHEN a stock purchase doubles in value, I sell half of it.

This has allowed me to take profits from my investments while keeping my original money invested and continuing to earn. The profits I can reinvest in other companies, and this has allowed me to diversify my portfolio and spread my risk across more companies.


Investing in a portfolio (See What’s in YOUR Portfolio? from Day 84) of Paid-To-Click advertising sites is a lot like investing in publicly traded companies in the stock market. Some perform very well, some increase in value little by little, some lose money, and some go bankrupt. By spreading my investment across a growing number of PTC sites I reduce my risk exposure to the bad ones. And if I monitor each PTCs performance (just by using a spreadsheet), I can invest more in the good ones over time.

Yeah, but is it investing? Some would not call this investing, and technically it is not.

investingWhen you invest in the stock market, you can reasonably expect to take your money back out at some time. If it has increased in value, that’s called CAPITAL GAINS, and it is money you’ll have to pay capital gains taxes on. My $107 increase in value is technically EARNED INCOME, not capital gains. In the U.S.A. as in most countries, you pay a higher tax rate on earned income, and a lower tax rate on capital gains.

In actuality, the money I’ve spent on PTCs is a BUSINESS EXPENSE, and all the cashouts I have received are BUSINESS INCOME. The difference is a NET PROFIT of $107, and for that earned income I will pay some income taxes.

Many people would say I am just spending money on these PTCs and hoping to make some money back down the line. Yes, that’s true. Technically that is what I am doing. But as an investor, I find it more useful to think of it like an investment.

Technically, I am spending my money on upgrades, on referral rentals, and some is simply lost because a few of these PTCs go *poof* before I ever get a cashout. Upgrades, referrals, losses. That’s money spent that I will never see again. But as an investor, I take a calculated risk that I will earn back everything I spend and more, making a profit on my “investment.”

So as an investor I think about the risk vs. reward. I think about how much money I am willing to put into my PTC portfolio, and I make decisions about when I will request cashouts or reinvest my earnings.

I think this is the most useful way to think about your PTC business.

Like me, you may be spending anywhere from one- to three hours per day clicking on PTC ads and thinking about which PTCs you want to add to your portfolio. Spending that amount of time per day managing your investments is not unusual. In my Etrade investing I am routinely reading financial news, monitoring my stock portfolio, looking for good investments, and making decisions about what to invest in next, how much and when to do it.


The real investment is in yourself. You invest time and money because you are in an ongoing process of learning how to put your money to work for you. The Paid-To-Click sites where you put your time and money are the vehicle for earning. And learning. The experiences you have along the way are all your own, and you are being enriched by what you earn and what you learn. Ultimately you are not investing in PTC sites — you are investing in yourself.


1 Comment on “Yeah But Is It INVESTING???”

  1. bruce says:

    I have got my money from golden clix which did me the same way they did you. I just wanted to say Thank you. Bruce Sutton P S Keep the good work up

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.