Stock Market Today: Wall Street Rallies Around Reassuring Retail Data

The stock market enjoyed a broad rebound Tuesday as fresh economic data suggested the U.S. consumer is still shopping strong.

The U.S. Census Bureau said today that April retail sales improved by 0.9% over March. Though that was slightly less than the 1.0% expected, there was a show of strength in the significant upward revision to March’s numbers, to 1.4% growth from 0.5% originally.

“To the extent that markets are worried about a growth slowdown, this is good news, but it is also a further catalyst for the Fed to raise rates even higher to get inflation under control,” says Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for registered investment advisor Independent Advisor Alliance.

While Zaccarelli joins other names in believing a recession is unlikely in 2022, “the Fed is going to need to raise interest rates to a point where they are likely to cause a recession in 2023 or 2024, and that gives us cause for concern,” he says.

Despite the promising retail data, success in retail stocks wasn’t a gimme.

Walmart (WMT, -11.4%) plunged after delivering a mixed quarterly report. Revenues improved 2.4% year-over-year to $141.6 billion to easily top expectations, and Walmart lifted its full-year sales outlook. However, that windfall is coming from cost-conscious consumers flocking to its grocery aisle, which has lower margins than its other offerings. This, as well as supply-chain problems and other headwinds, caused Walmart to report profits of $1.30 per share that were well short of estimates, and to lower its income forecast for 2022.

Home Depot (HD, +1.7%) fared better, however, after delivering record fiscal first-quarter sales and upgrading its full-year outlook. 

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“Walmart’s report this week basically confirmed all the negative scenarios that you would expect given inflationary pressures and rising interest rates,” says David Keller, chief market strategist at StockCharts.com. But he added that “Home Depot’s report had a much more encouraging tone as consumers fueled a strong earnings win for the company.”

Other pockets of strength Tuesday included airline stocks such as American Airlines (AAL, +7.7%) and Delta Air Lines (DAL, +6.7%), which were boosted by United Airlines’ (UAL, +7.9%) higher second-quarter revenue outlook. Semiconductor stocks including Micron Technology (MU, +5.7%) and Qualcomm (QCOM, +4.3%) also rallied around Piper Sandler’s upgrade of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, +8.7%).

The Nasdaq Composite was tops among the major indexes Tuesday, up 2.8% to 11,984. The S&P 500 delivered a 2.0% gain to 4,088, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average improved 1.3% to 32,654.

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Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 surged 3.2% to 1,840.
  • U.S. crude oil futures slumped 1.6% to $112.40 per barrel.
  • A retreat in the U.S. dollar helped gold futures tick 0.3% higher to $1,818.90 per ounce.
  • Bitcoin improved by 1.7% to $30,058.48. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)
  • Twitter (TWTR, +2.5%) made some gains despite a potential deal with Tesla (TSLA, +5.1%) CEO Elon Musk looking increasingly unlikely. Musk insisted today that he would back out of his $44 billion bid to buy the social platform unless Twitter proved that fewer than 5% of its users are bots. He tweeted that “20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher” without providing proof. Numerous analysts have now said they believe Musk’s sudden interest in Twitter’s bot numbers is either an attempt to escape his deal, or lower the $54.20-per-share price tag.

Buffett’s Latest Buys Are In!

A number of other stocks were driven higher Tuesday by their newfound inclusion into a prestigious order: the equity portfolio of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire filed its quarterly Form 13F with the SEC yesterday afternoon, revealing that after more than a year of heavy selling, Warren Buffett was finally eager to buy. Paramount Global (PARA, +15.4%) and Celanese (CE, +7.5%) were just two of the eight new positions Berkshire entered during the first quarter, and among the top beneficiaries of earning Buffett’s seal of approval.

We recently mentioned that inflation has been a major driver of many of Buffett’s purchases of the past few months, but it’s not the only story.

Read on as we explore each and every one of Buffett’s 22 moves from the first quarter of 2022, including what likely drew the Oracle of Omaha (or his lieutenants) to the position.

Kyle Woodley was long AMD as of this writing.

Source: kiplinger.com

How to Get the Most Out of Your Airline Miles and Points

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Additional Resources

Lots of people like to travel to new places and try new things. The problem is that travel can be expensive.

I’ve personally managed to take nearly all of my vacations for free thanks to rewards credit cards. All in all, I’ve earned more than 1 million miles and points to fund my trips over the past five years. I’ve used these points to visit U.S. and international destinations I would never have seen otherwise, enriching my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. 

If you know what you’re doing, you can — like me — save a lot of money by using airline miles and points. If you really take the time to optimize your travel rewards, you can find yourself on a luxury vacation for economy prices.


How to Get the Most of Your Airline Miles and Points

Most airlines and hotels operate loyalty programs that award you with miles and points when you fly or stay with them. 


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These points help you save money and earn upgrades when you redeem them for travel. And there’s lots you can do to earn more rewards even before you travel — giving you some much needed budgetary breathing room. 

Earning Miles & Points

If you’re looking to go on an exciting vacation on the cheap, you’ll want to earn as many miles and points as possible before you set sail. Use these strategies to boost your earning rate.

Sign Up for Airline & Hotel Loyalty Programs

Even if you haven’t flown with an airline or stayed at a hotel, you should be able to sign up for that company’s loyalty program. This ensures you’ll earn points next time you fly or stay with that company. 

It also ensures you’ll receive promotional offers. 

Though potentially annoying if you’re not actively planning to travel in the near future, these offers often promise big discounts or exciting opportunities to earn rewards points or miles. For example, members of American Airlines AAdvantage program often receive mailers to sign up for a branded credit card and get a great sign-up bonus.

Choose the Right Credit Card

One of the best ways to earn more airline miles and hotel points is to regularly use a travel credit card. 

Most major airlines and hotel chains have a credit card partner and offer one or more branded credit cards. Each time you use their card, you’ll earn points or miles that you can redeem toward future travel.

When evaluating potential travel credit cards, consider the following:

  • Whether You’ll Actually Use Your Points. If you won’t use the points or miles a card offers, it’s not worth getting.
  • How Much You’ll Earn. Look for cards that have the highest earning rates in the categories you know you’ll spend in.
  • Status and Perks. If you’re loyal to a specific airline or hotel, see if there are premium cards that come with status or perks with that chain. For example, certain Hilton credit cards confer automatic status that comes with you automatic room upgrades, a daily food and beverage credit, a free night on longer trips, and more.
  • Generic Cards. If you aren’t loyal to a specific brand, choose one that offers generic rewards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the American Express Gold Card. Instead of being tied to a single airline, you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards points toward travel on a number of the card issuers’ partner airlines.

Take Advantage of Welcome Bonuses

One of the best opportunities to rack up points or miles is through welcome bonuses and other credit card offers.

Credit card issuers want you to sign up for their card, so they’ll try to incentivize people to sign up through these offers. Usually, they require you to spend a certain amount of money within a certain time period, often three or four months.

For example, you might see a deal to earn 40,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in your first three months with a new credit card.

These bonuses are often large enough to get you a free round-trip flight or hotel stay right away. If you’re in the market for a travel credit card, pay attention to each contender’s welcome bonus offer — it could well be the card’s defining feature.

However, be careful and make sure that you can meet the spending requirement of any card you sign up for without overspending. If you overspend and carry a balance, the interest you pay will more than offset the value of the rewards you earn.

Take Advantage of Bonus Spending Categories

Some credit cards have flat-rate rewards programs. You earn rewards at the same rate regardless of where you spend your money.

Other rewards programs have bonus categories. For example, a credit card might give you 1 mile per dollar spent on most purchases but offer 2 bonus miles for each dollar you spend at restaurants.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers:

  • 5x points on travel through Chase
  • 3x points on dining and delivery
  • 3x points on groceries
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • 2x points on other travel purchases
  • 1x points on everything else

Some cards also offer limited-time deals where you can get even higher earning rates at certain merchants, such as 10x points per dollar spent with a particular merchant.

If you have multiple rewards credit cards, try to optimize your spending to take advantage of bonus spending categories and earn more miles or points.

Refer a Friend

Many credit card issuers offer refer-a-friend bonuses to cardholders who get someone else to sign up for a travel card. Often, these programs are win-win situations: You get a bonus for making a successful referral and the referred person gets a lucrative sign-up bonus.

If you know someone who wants a travel credit card, refer them to your favorite card. You could both end up closer to a free flight or hotel stay.


Pay for Group Travel

If your friends aren’t up for signing up for new cards but still want to travel with you, you can accelerate your earnings by offering to book everyone’s flights and hotels. Put the cost of the trip on your card and have everyone else pay you back.

As long as they do pay you back, you earn miles or points on the entire trip value while still only paying your portion of the costs.

This can be especially lucrative if your credit card offers bonus points for spending on flights or hotels. You could find yourself racking up tens of thousands of points if you put all of the flights or hotel rooms on your card. It’s also a good way to hit spending requirements for welcome bonuses.

Just make sure you get paid back after you book the trip.

Use Shopping Portals

Many credit card issuers, airlines, and hotel chains offer shopping portals that sell merchandise and travel. If you shop through these portals, you could earn additional frequent flyer miles or rewards points, often at better rates than those offered by the card’s regular rewards program.

Depending on the portal, you might even earn points when you shop with a debit card. That’s great news if your credit score isn’t where you’d like it to be and you’re having trouble qualifying for a travel credit card as a result.

Earn Elite Status

Many airlines’ and hotels’ loyalty programs offer elite status if you earn enough miles or points or spend enough money on their branded credit cards. If you travel a lot, elite status is well worth the effort to achieve, as it promises perks like room or fare upgrades, food credits, bonus point earnings, free nights, and more.

For example, if you earn at least 125,000 Rapid Rewards points with Southwest Airlines, you qualify for a companion pass. That gives one companion of your choice a free ticket on any flight you take, less taxes and fees. The pass lasts through the end of the following year, giving you more than 12 months to enjoy this benefit. 


Redeeming Miles & Points

Earning your miles and points is just one piece of the puzzle. You’ll want to use points in the most efficient way possible to make sure you get the best value.

Be Flexible About Travel Dates

Whether you’re paying for your airline ticket with cash or miles, being flexible about your travel dates is one of the best ways to save money while traveling. 

Certain times of the year, like Thanksgiving weekend and the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day, have huge demand for travel. Other times, not so much.

For example, a recent round-trip flight between Boston and Orlando cost me about $220 in early June. Not bad. During Thanksgiving week the same year, the same route cost more than double that. Ouch.

Certain days of the week are busier and therefore more expensive too. Expect to pay more to fly on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. 

Bottom line: If you can be flexible and travel during less busy times, you can redeem your points for award flights at a much cheaper rate.

Treat Yourself to Upgrades

If you’re looking for a luxury vacation, fare class or room upgrades offer fantastic value for your points. You can often upgrade to a first-class or business class seat for a relatively low number of miles compared to the difference in the two fares’ cash prices.

Hotels are similar. More luxurious rooms often cost fewer points than you’d expect based on the cash price.

If your goal is to travel as much as possible, don’t waste your points on upgrades. But if you’re craving a once-in-a-while splurge, this is a cost-effective strategy. 

Think Beyond Airfare and Hotels

Airfare and lodging are big travel expenses, but they’re not the only ones you’ll encounter on your journey. Once you get where you’re going, you have to think about what you’re going to do and how you’ll get around.

Some hotels and airlines have partnerships with rental car companies or vacation companies that offer activities or excursions. You might be able to redeem your rewards for exciting activities or a free rental car so you can drive around your destination.

Travel cards with generic rewards are often the best way to get these redemptions. For example, Chase’s Sapphire line of cards let you redeem your points not only for flights and hotels but also for cruises, rental cars, and sightseeing tours.

Consider the Point Transfer Ratio

Many airlines and hotels have partner companies and let their customers transfer points or miles to their partners. This has two clear benefits.

First, it gives you more options. For example, the OneWorld Alliance is a group of airlines that includes American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, and Qantas, among others.

If you have American Airlines AAdvantage miles, you can often use them to book flights with another member of the OneWorld Alliance.

Second, if you’re willing to put in some work, you can sometimes get even more value for your points by transferring them. Favorable transfer ratios often boost your points’ value — sometimes by an order of magnitude — after you’ve moved them to another airline.

Find the Award Chart Sweet Spots

Some hotels and airlines have standardized redemption options, letting you turn a set number of miles into a specific flight or hotel stay.

For example, JetBlue offers one-way flights to and from Hawaii and any U.S. East Coast location for 30,000 miles, making a round-trip vacation 60,000 miles. 

Depending on where you live on the East Coast, that deal could be a great value over redeeming points for other flights. For example, despite the much shorter distance and (usually) lower dollar cost, a flight between Boston and Los Angeles can cost as much as 33,000 points.

Be on the lookout for sweet spots where you can get a far greater value for your points or miles than other redemptions.

Redeem Via the Rewards Portal

If you’re using a travel credit card with generic rewards instead of a branded airline card, you can often get better value for your points by using the card issuer’s rewards portal.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card boosts your points’ value by 50% when you use them to book travel through Chase’s travel portal. If you book your tickets outside the portal, you lose that value.

Pool Points With Friends & Family

If you’re going on a family vacation with members of the same airline or hotel loyalty program, look into pooling your points as a group. Many airlines and hotels allow this at no cost. 

If you each have just a few thousand points, you may not be able to get any useful redemptions on your own. But together, you might be able to get a free ticket or room and split the savings between everyone.

Watch for Limited-Time Deals

Some airlines or hotels will run deals where you can redeem your points for great deals. If you’re paying attention, you might see a chance to get a flight or hotel stay for half the normal price.

These deals can also come on the earning side, such as a higher earning rate on the purchase of a flight or hotel stay. This can accelerate your progress toward a free flight or stay.

Don’t Forget Partner Awards

Just like the various travel alliances often let you transfer points between airlines or hotels, you can often redeem your miles directly for flights on other airlines without having to transfer them first.

Partner bookings can be a bit complicated when it comes to finding the best value for your miles. But if you’re lucky, you can get a great redemption for very cheap.

Familiarize yourself with the different airline alliances to see which airlines are partners to see if you can find good opportunities. If you have a specific trip in mind, you can do some research online — using resources like travel subreddits — to see if other travelers have found exciting deals.

Keep an Eye on Expiration Dates

Some loyalty programs make their miles or points expire after a period of time. For example, American Airlines miles expire after two years of no activity. 

Fortunately, if you earn a single mile during any two-year period, you reset the timer for your entire balance. Time your purchases accordingly.

Cash Out Miles You Won’t Use

Between sign up bonuses, referring friends, and not having time to travel much, you might find yourself with way more miles and points than you can imagine yourself using.

If you find yourself with miles that are about to expire or that you won’t otherwise use, try to redeem them for something so that you don’t completely miss out on the value. 

You can do this even if you don’t plan to travel in the near future. Many airlines let you cash out your miles for non-travel rewards, such as gift cards or merchandise. While these redemptions are generally a worse value than redeeming miles for an award ticket they’re better than letting your miles languish and never get used.


Final Word

If you like to travel, airline and hotel rewards programs are a great way to save money on trips or to take a luxury vacation. 

Signing up for the right credit card, finding opportunities to maximize mile and point earnings, looking for lesser-known ways to boost points’ redemption value — these strategies and more have significantly reduced my travel costs over the years. They can do the same for you.

But maximizing travel rewards is just one way to save money on the road. Even as you work to make the most of your points, look for other opportunities to take exciting trips on the cheap too.

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GME is so 2021. Fine art is forever. And its 5-year returns are a heck of a lot better than this week’s meme stock. Invest in something real. Invest with Masterworks.

TJ is a Boston-based writer who focuses on credit cards, credit, and bank accounts. When he’s not writing about all things personal finance, he enjoys cooking, esports, soccer, hockey, and games of the video and board varieties.

Source: moneycrashers.com

Joe Rogan’s Real Estate Experience: Living a Luxurious Lake Life in Austin, Texas

Podcasting has its privileges. After sealing a deal for over $100 million with Spotify, Joe Rogan has become the most popular — and best paid — podcaster on earth. 

The Joe Rogan Experience host first rose to fame in the 1990s sitcom NewsRadio and went on to host stunt/dare game show Fear Factor, followed by forays into martial arts, where he is a renowned commentator for the UFC.

And while nowadays his name is tied to his immensely popular podcast (which was the most popular podcast in the U.S. for much of 2020 and 2021, reaching an estimate 11 million people per episode), the former Fear Factor host has had an extensive stand-up comedy career, which he started in back 1988 and continues to the present day.

Cashing in his podcasting pennies, Joe and his family recently took up residence in a multi-million dollar mansion. Below you’ll find all the details we could find about the Rogans’ $14.4 million property in Austin, Texas.

Joe Rogan’s house upgrade from California to Texas

The Joe Rogan Experience host, 54, and his family-of-five became part of the “mass exodus out of California” due to the Golden State’s lockdown rates and COVID-19 responses, lack of rain, homelessness epidemic, overpopulation and increased taxes.

According to the father-of-three, the Lone Star State — and the multi-million dollar dream house he found there — is a far more appealing alternative and the perfect place to call home.

While his 7,500 square foot home in California was cozy, the comedian recently moved his family into a much larger estate in Austin, Texas. 

path leading to Joe Rogan's house
Joe Rogan’s new house in Austin, Texas. Image credit: Peter Vitale via Benjamin Wood

Rogan’s house in Austin, Texas is one of the most exclusive properties in the area, and puts the podcaster in proximity to some other well-known celebrities that reside in the state’s capital — including Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles, who also lives in a lovely lake house in Austin.

Reportedly worth four times more than his home in California, Joe purchased the Texas estate for $14.4 million.

Nestled in the outskirts of Austin, the massive spread is outside the chaos of the city, but close enough for the everyday conveniences.

With A-list neighbors such as billionaire John Paul DeJoria and Academy Award-winning actress Sandra Bullock, the podcast king created his castle in this southern slice of heaven.

Inside Joe Rogan’s Austin home, a million-dollar home fit for the world’s leading podcaster

Purchased in an off-the-market deal, Joe and his family-of-five recently moved into their lakeside home in the second half of 2020.

Although not many details have been leaked online about their sprawling new digs, it seems that Joe and his wife Jessica have plenty of room for their three daughters: Lola, 12, Rosy, 11, and 24-year-old Kayja Rose. 

According to Dirt, the massive lakeside mansion boasts 10,980 square feet and features 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. 

the entrance to Joe Rogan's house in Austin, TX
Stepping inside Joe Rogan’s Austin house. Image credit: Peter Vitale via Benjamin Wood
Joe Rogan’s new house comes with floor-to-ceiling glass walls that open up to mesmerizing lake views. Image credit: Peter Vitale via Benjamin Wood

Located on Lake Austin, the Tuscan-style estate was built in 2006 and listed for $7.25 in 2015. 

According to Work and Money, designer Benjamin Wood and his philanthropist wife Theresa Castellano Wood are the former owners of the elegant abode.

They’re also the ones who added the Asian-inspired and modern upgrades, which add a wow factor to the already-impressive home.

Rogan’s house includes an open floorplan with the dining room, living room and library all sharing one space. Painted deep blue, this shared living space is accented by rustic wooden pillars and light wood feature walls. 

living room with floor-to-ceiling walls of glass inside Joe Rogan's house in Austin, TX
The main living area has an open floorplan that combines the dining room, living room and library. Image credit: Peter Vitale via Benjamin Wood
The living area is accented by dark blue walls and dramatic furnishings. Image credit: Peter Vitale via Benjamin Wood
The statement piece in Joe Rogan’s house in Texas is a floor-to-ceiling built-in library. Image credit: Peter Vitale via Benjamin Wood

With rustic farmhouse vibes, the beautifully open kitchen includes two islands, antique cabinets and plenty of room for Joe’s favorite wild meat meals. 

With floor-to-ceiling glass walls, the family-of-five can couch-it while glancing out at the four acres of spectacular views on their private property.

The kitchen inside Joe Rogan’s Austin house comes with antique cabinetry and two kitchen islands. Image credit: Peter Vitale via Benjamin Wood
The inviting kitchen boasts a rustic farmhouse vibe, complemented by stylish finishes and large windows. Image credit: Peter Vitale via Benjamin Wood

Of course, the UFC commentator has a customized home gym with all the bells and whistles. And did we mention his fully-equipped podcast room?

The lakeside mansion features a large back porch and deck, alongside an impressive mezzanine featuring a large Buddha statue. With over 300 feet of water frontage, the Rogans are sure to enjoy the property’s party deck on Lake Austin.

After their lake adventures, Joe and his family can jump in the outdoor pool which includes a stonework patio and plenty of shade for those hot Texas summers. 

The house Joe Rogan left behind

In 2003, Joe and wife Jessica purchased their Bell Canyon, Calif. home for $2.33 million. After living there for 17 years, the Rogans made a handsome $1.12 million profit when they sold it for $3.45 million in March 2021.

Joe Rogan’s former home in Bell Canyon, California, which he sold for $3.45 million. Image credit: Realtor.com

With 7,500 square feet and 5 bedrooms, the family home included 5 bathrooms and 2.14 acres of outdoor space. Their former California home featured a pool and backyard deck, but nothing in comparison to their palatial Austin estate.

For now, Joe Rogan’s experience seems to be fit for a king. From the overpopulation of the Golden State to the laid back vibes of the Lone Star State, it seems like Joe’s choices in terms of real estate went from lovely to luxurious.

More celebrity homes you’ll enjoy

Tour Andrew Rea’s (Binging with Babish) House in Brooklyn
Impact Theory’s Tom Bylieu Bought the Striking $40 Million Mansion from ‘Selling Sunset’Where Does Trevor Noah Live? A Closer Look at the Daily Show Host’s Penthouse in ManhattanFrom a Prince to a King: A Look at Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith’s Real Estate Dynasty

Source: fancypantshomes.com

How To Start a Wedding DJ Business in 9 Essential Steps

Want to hone your DJ skills? Or maybe show them off?

Wedding DJs are in high demand these days.

Industry experts expect 2022 to be the busiest wedding season in 40 years, thanks to lockdown romances and postponed ceremonies during the pandemic.

A wedding DJ is the focal point of great wedding receptions. They set the mood, engage with the crowd and keep the couple happy.

They make good money, too. Wedding DJs make $1,000 per gig on average, according to WeddingWire, with experienced pros fetching upward of $2,000 or more.

But it takes a lot of hard work and planning to DJ a wedding. To start a successful wedding DJ business, you’ll need seed money for gear, reliable transportation — and great people skills.

How to Start a Wedding DJ Business in 9 Steps

Nick Smith started DJing weddings in southwest Indiana when he was 20 years old. His first set of speakers and audio equipment came from a bar that was going out of business.

Sixteen years later, Smith’s business has booked over 200 weddings.

“It’s a great gig if you love people and music,” he said.

Ready to spin up your own side hustle? Follow these nine steps to start a wedding DJ business.

1. Research and Talk to Other DJs

Before you invest major money into gear and advertising, make sure you’re comfortable with this type of gig.

Talk to other wedding DJs and ask what challenges they faced in the beginning — and how they overcame those hurdles.

If you’re new to DJing in general, it’s a good idea to shadow a professional wedding DJ. Search Google, Yelp or the Knot to find some in your area.

Send a friendly email asking if you can help them out at an event or two because you’re interested in being a wedding DJ.

On the day of the wedding, show up early and stay for the entire event. Observe how the wedding DJ interacts with the crowd and the type of music they play. Take notes.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do they make announcements?
  • What do they do when the dance floor thins out?
  • How do they handle requests?
  • What equipment do they have?

In exchange for the experience, offer to help the other DJ by unloading gear from the car and setting up the speakers.

2. Hone Your Skills

Practice makes perfect. You need to be comfortable behind the booth before you’re ready to book gigs.

Play for family and friends first. You can also book other, smaller events — like birthday parties and company parties — to get your feet wet. Online classes are another way to grow your knowledge base.

Practice playing songs, using a microphone and flowing from one song to another.

If you’re not ready to start your own wedding DJ business quite yet, consider working for a multi-op — a mobile DJ company that employs several disc jockeys.

3. Create a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is important if you plan to invest time and money into becoming a wedding DJ.

Your business plan should include:

  • Your business name and location
  • Customer demographics and target audience
  • Price points
  • Suppliers for your equipment
  • Initial start-up costs and how long until you’re profitable
  • Competitors

You can use one of these templates from the U.S. Small Business Administration to create a more detailed business plan.

Looking for more tips? Check out these 10 things you should know before you start a business. 

Setting Your Rate

The best way to set your initial rates is by researching prices for wedding DJs in your area, then offering a lower price.

How much you charge also depends on where you live: A wedding DJ in a big city earns more money than a wedding DJ in a small town.

Still, a good starting rate for a novice wedding DJ is roughly $500. You can raise your rates as you gain more experience. According to The Knot’s Real Weddings Study, couples spent an average of $1,400 on a DJ in 2021.

Wedding DJs usually pick one or more of the following pricing structures:

  • Flat fee or hourly rate
  • Packages
  • A la carte services
  • Custom quote

You should also be open to negotiating when you first start out.

Decide What DJ Services to Offer

Smith said offering additional services to clients is one of the best ways to make extra money as a wedding DJ.

“Additional services can really help add value,” Smith said. “You can offer things like uplighting, or doing sound for both the ceremony and the reception.”

Consider add-ons that earn you extra money with minimal effort. For example, some DJs offer photo booth services for guests, but Smith said photo booths are labor intensive to transport and set up.

“Unless you have someone else helping you, you want to keep things simple,” he said.

4. Buy Your DJ Gear

A big hurdle for many new DJs is acquiring equipment. It can cost a couple thousand dollars to purchase all your DJ gear.

“It’s a big cost up front for sure,” Nick said, “but you’ll earn it back quickly with gigs.”

While you don’t need state-of-the-art equipment to be a great wedding DJ, you do need a solid foundation to get started.

Wedding DJ gear checklist:

  • Laptop with at least 6 GB of internal memory and three USB inputs
  • DJ software, like Serato or Traktor
  • PA system (amplifier and speakers)
  • DJ controller / mixer
  • Over-the-ear headphones
  • Cables
  • MP3 music files

On a budget? Smith recommends looking for deals on sites like eBay and Craigslist. Check out sales at your local music store, too.

You could even borrow equipment from a friend or neighborhood church for your first couple gigs.

“You can start with a cheaper set-up, then upgrade it up over time,” Smith said.

You’ll also need to be comfortable setting up and tearing down your own DJ equipment. Figuring out how to efficiently store and transport your gear is also important if you want to be a mobile DJ.

Buy the Music

Buying music is important if you want to run a successful wedding DJ business.

Professionals caution against using streaming services like Spotify or YouTube. It isn’t technically legal and you shouldn’t rely on anything that requires Internet access anyway.

You have several options to legally purchase music for your wedding DJ business:

  • Buy mp3s through Amazon or iTunes/Apple Music.
  • Subscribe to a DJ pool like Promo City. This is a paid service that gives you access to volumes of modern music for download.
  • DJ subscription service like Virtual DJ or Pulselocker.
  • Buy used CDs and rip them to your laptop.

Set aside a little money from each gig to buy more music, and it won’t take long to compile a competitive professional DJ library.

5. Market Yourself

You have the gear. You have a plan. Now it’s time to get some customers.

You’ll need to create a DJ website and social media accounts to attract potential customers. Look at websites for other wedding DJ businesses to get ideas.

At the bare minimum, your website should include:

  • Your rates
  • Where you’re located (and how far you’re willing to travel)
  • A contact email address and phone number
  • What makes you unique from other DJs in the wedding industry
  • Testimonials and positive reviews

You can use a service like Wix or Weebly for free, or hire a professional to design a website for you.

Word of mouth is huge in the wedding business, Smith said. It’s about who you know and who knows you.

“Recommendations are everything,” Smith emphasized.

Give discounts for referrals. Make it easy for the bride and groom to leave glowing reviews about your wedding DJ business on Google and Facebook.

You’ll want to create some business cards and maybe some flyers, too.

Leave a space in your budget for marketing costs. Advertising on sites like The Knot and WeddingWire can really help pull in new customers because couples often visit these sites to find venues and vendors.

6. Meet the Couple for a Consultation

Meet up with the wedding couple several weeks before the event to discuss the playlist.

Ask about their favorite genres and bands, then create a short list of must-have songs, including their pick for the first dance and other important dances.

Perhaps more importantly, get a list of songs they don’t want played. The Chicken Dance, for instance.

“Get an idea of what they’re looking for,” Smith said, “then execute that to the best of your abilities.”

Print a questionnaire for the couple to fill out at the consultation with a timeline of the wedding, names of important people in the wedding party and other key details you should know.

You’ll also want to create contracts you can customize for each couple.

Your business contract should cover things like cancellation fees and damaged equipment policies. Make sure to discuss these policies with clients during the initial consultation.

Finally, prepare to spend several hours communicating back and forth with the couple before the wedding. Smith said he usually spends about 10 hours total preparing for the big day.

Two brides dance at their wedding reception.
Getty Images

7. Create the Playlist

Your goal as a wedding DJ is to create a memorable experience for the couple and keep the party going.

Don’t slide your original deep house remix into the wedding playlist. Remember, focus on the bride and groom — not your personal taste in music.

Play music to match the festivities. Break your songs into different blocks for the ceremony, cocktail hour, introductions, dinner and dance floor.

Each block should have different music to the atmosphere: Classical music at the ceremony, light jazz for the cocktail hour and soulful tunes for dinner, for example.

You can flex more creativity and play new music for the dance floor. But remember: You’re playing for a diverse audience. Don’t be afraid to bust out crowd favorites like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Livin’ On A Prayer.”

“People are at a wedding to have a good time,” Smith said. “Your job is to play the right music and create a fun atmosphere for everyone.”

8. Be On Time and Professional

You can’t be late to the party when you’re the DJ. Get there early, set up on time and prepare for a late night.

Before the wedding, write out a script of everything you plan to say. Practice pronouncing names. You don’t want to butcher the best man’s last name on stage.

Make sure to bring backup chargers, cables and other necessary gear. Things go wrong, break and run out of battery. Don’t let something unexpected (but easily preventable) ruin your wedding gig.

9. Work the Crowd and Keep the Party Going

Successful wedding DJs set the tone and vibe for the entire reception.

Be friendly, energetic and don’t forget to smile!

It’s not all about the music, though: You’ll be in charge of making announcements, calling for special dances and fielding song requests from (often intoxicated) guests.

You’ll need to communicate with other vendors at the wedding, too. You don’t want to start playing music for a special dance, for example, without the photographers and videographers in place.

Be observant, flexible and keep the party going.

It’s a lot to manage but pulling off your first successful gig can be the start of a rewarding and lucrative wedding DJ business.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com