What Retirees Fear More Than Death

Get a peak at one of my high school finance lessons through SlideShare:

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Is GameStop The Next Blockbuster?

In my latest article for Seeking Alpha, I look at how two companies handled industry disruption between 2000-2010 and analyze whether GameStop (GME) meets the profile of a survivor. This was a fun article to research, as Blockbuster was a comically mismanaged company, and one of its competitors, Family Video, remains a model for resilience to both disruption and recession.

Book Review: Economics for Real People

Economics for Real PeopleThe Austrian School approach to the study economics is practical, logical, and accessible. Understanding it gives one an excellent perspective on history, philosophy, politics, business, current events, and daily life. However, there are so many thinkers one needs to explore, starting with Frédérick Bastiat, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and Friederich A. Hayek. While incredibly enlightening, their works can be overwhelming in their size, depth, and dryness. They can each take quite a while to get through, and there are so many of them. Gene Callahan shrinks the central concepts from the works of Bastiat, Menger, Mises, Rothbard, and Hayek into one reasonably sized volume that is succinct and more colorfully written. Continue reading “Book Review: Economics for Real People”

Wide Your World, Part II: Listen Up!

Mainstream radio is pretty much music, news, sports, and some comedy. The music is mainly the same 10 songs over and over again, with each station having its own slight variation on what those 10 songs are. The news is either mainstream headlines and soundbites or political pundits ranting, usually spewing inaccurate information that is not based on actual research. Sports coverage is 90% NFL football, even when it’s basketball and baseball season. How much are your really getting out of this stuff? It seems more and more like they are just trying to keep you busy between commercials. Most of what is on the radio is the same old noise over and over again.

It’s time to listen up! Upgrade the value of the material you listen to every day. Continue reading “Wide Your World, Part II: Listen Up!”

Widen Your World, Part I: Read a Book!

I have recently been reading The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business by Steve Mariotti. It is a great resource that I am using as the textbook for the Intro to Entrepreneurship class I am teaching this year. In chapter 2, there is a little section called “Widen Your World,” and throughout the book, Mariotti encourages readers to feed their imagination, read more books, and take an active approach to life. Inspired by Mariotti, this post is the first of a series I will be doing on this blog called “Widen Your World.” I am starting with my favorite source of inspiration, books! Continue reading “Widen Your World, Part I: Read a Book!”

Book Review: Security Analysis

security analysisDavid Abrams sums up Security Analysis the best in his introduction to Part VII of the 6th edition, where he calls it “the value investors’ equivalent to Deuteronomy” . SA is an extremely thorough explanation of how to evaluate stocks and bonds, primarily focusing on a company’s income statement and balance sheet. It is not an ideal starting point for young investors, but it is essential reading for any serious investor.

Graham and Dodd discuss the philosophy of value investing eloquently. They provide detailed analysis of dozens of companies’ finance statements to support their arguments about how investors should analyze securities. It is an excellent reality check for anyone who thinks he knows a thing or two about investing.

The examples given by Graham and Dodd are a bit dated (1930s), but most of the principles are still relevant today. The organization of the book is a bit awkward, but I don’t presume that I could organize such a massive quantity and variety of material any better.

It took me a long time to get through this, and I will probably explore many parts of it again over the next few years. It is a valuable addition to any business library and a resource that you can use for a lifetime of investing.

Entrepreneurs: The New Adventurers

I am 3 days into the new Intro to Entrepreneurship class that I am teaching to 24 high school students this year. I am already having a blast, as the students—mostly freshmen—are very enthusiastic, despite several of them not being quite sure what entrepreneurship was 3 days ago. We started off by analyzing the etymology of the word entrepreneurship. Etymology is underrated as a tool for studying concepts like this. You get a peak into the cultural perspective of the time and place where the word was first invented. How cool is that?! Continue reading “Entrepreneurs: The New Adventurers”