• On Tulips and Bitcoin: Financial Bubbles Then and Now

    The more I hear Bitcoin discussed in everyday conversation as I'm standing in line at the store, the more I am convinced we've gotten ourselves stuck in a crazy time machine and have been plunked down onto the streets of Amsterdam in the 17th...
  • Financial Needs of Small Businesses (2016)

    The 2016 Small Business Credit Survey published in 2017 shows: Most firms are optimistic about the future, expressing expectations for 2017 similar to those they held for 2016; a net 61% expect revenues to grow and a net 39% anticipate job growth...
  • The Finance of Star Wars

    The Star Wars has been a tremendous success, not unlike franchises such as the James Bond franchise and others. According to the video below by Professor Aswath Damodaran, what makes Star Wars different is the value of add-ons such as toys and collectibles...
  • How Do Investment Banks Make Money?

    This video explains how Goldman Sachs made money back in 2010. Several financial issues are raised here: 1. What is the goal of the firm? What is the goal of an investment banking firm like Goldman Sachs? 2. What does it mean for Goldman Sachs to...
  • Crowdfunding v. Traditional Funding

    Crowdfunding is a way for startups or new ventures to raise capital from many investors in small amounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rules in place for crowdfunding, and here is a recent excerpt from an SEC bulletin : Crowdfunding...
  • How and Why To Invest In Commodities

    The best assets to add to an investment portfolio are those that increase the portfolio expected return while reducing the total volatility. To find such assets, investors seek those whose returns are not perfectly correlated with the returns of the existing...
  • What's Driving the Dow?

    What drives a stock market? Is it strictly gambling sentiment that tosses stock prices around, or is there something more that underlies stock prices? According to this article by Euronext : Simply put, the price of an individual stock is determined...
  • Art Vault

    The value of an investment can be determined several different ways: Comparing the investment with similar investments that have recently changed hands Determining what it would cost to replace the item Adding up the costs of all the components...
  • The Value of Human Capital

    This infographics shows the value of human capital by explaining how long it takes to earn $1 million by education level. Of course, these numbers are averages. An entrepreneur with a high school diploma can become a multi-millionaire while someone with...
  • Impact of Rising Rates on Financial Markets

    We've been in a low interest rate environment for so long that we aren't really sure what to expect when rates do finally start to rise. This infographic shows the historical impact of rising rates on stock and bond markets. For discussion:...
  • Technical and Fundamental Analysis of the Stock Market

    Technical analysis is the use of price and volume charts to forecast buy and sell signals in financial markets. The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) says that market prices already reflect all we know about a stock--that is, full information--and therefore...
  • What Makes Markets Tick: The Rules of Adam Smith

    This Financial Times video reviews the rules of Adam Smith and what makes markets successful Rule #1. Markets work best when as many people as possible are involved Rule #2. Markets are most efficient when prices are transparent to many participants...
  • Safety in Safety Stocks

    When investors seek a safe investment, many think of bonds. Fixed coupons and stable prices are attractive to highly risk averse investors. As an alternatives to bonds, some investors buy so-called "safety" stocks, such as utility stocks and...
  • NPV of a College Degree

    College is an investment of time as well as money, and families should consider the return on that investment as they weigh the options. Weighing any investment requires considering the following: 1. What is the initial investment cost? Are there ongoing...
  • Money Worries for Retiring Women

    Women face some unique financial planning issues, and the infographic below discusses some of the risks faced by women as they approach retirement. From the New York Times ( 3 Mar 2017 ): Across all age groups, women have considerably less income...
  • Best Money Practices for Millenials

    This infographic shows some best practices that millenials can use to improve their money management habits. For discussion : What can you add to the list? source: Nationwide
  • ICO or IPO: What's The Difference?

    Start-ups may be able to raise new money using an ICO instead of an IPO. This new fund-raising method has its critics, including the SEC. From The Hill ( 28 Aug 2017 ) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday issued a warning about investing...
  • Are We Close to a Cashless Society?

    There aren't many transactions today that require cash. You can eat, travel, take a cab or a shared ride, pay your bills, buy a snack, without ever pulling out a single dollar bill. From FastCompany : The U.S. government didn’t issue banknotes...
  • Alternative Financial Services

    Banks aren't the only financial institutions that offer financial services. If you want to borrow money, you can use a rent-to-own store or a pawn shop. If you want to cash a check, you can use some store cashiers or a check cashing store. Each...
  • Investing Tips for Everyone

    You can start investing now, no matter what your financial condition. The infographic below offers FIVE ideas for low budget investing. These ideas do not always involve investing in stocks or bonds and therefore are easily overlooked when making your...
  • The Wal-Mart Financial Picture

    When we determine the value of a share of stock, we need to consider the ability of the firm to generate positive cash flow. Consider Wal-Mart, for example. The stock is currently trading at a price of 86.62 per share and the trend over the last five...
  • What To Consider Before Applying For a Loan

    Growing your business requires capital, and entrepreneurs have several choices to finance their businesses. They can use their savings, they can sell assets, and they can borrow money from investors or from a bank. The infographic below identifies a...
  • Investing Long Term Rather than Focusing on Short Term Changes

    In this video interview, legendary investor Warren Buffett talks about the principles of investing for the long term rather than watching daily, short-term valuations. He also discusses the impact of negative rates and how these rates distort everything...
  • Invest in What You Know

    Billionaire Mark Cuban gives some of the same investment advice we've heard in the past: invest in what you know. He invested in what he knew--technology--and came out a winner. For discussion : What does he add to Peter Lynch's legendary...
  • What is Risk?

    In this video, Peter Bernstein explains that risk means "more things can happen than will happen." It doesn't necessarily mean we're in danger, just that we're facing uncertainty. In finance, many people define risk as the probability...