• 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...
  • What Are Bitcoin Futures?

    The Bitcoin futures contract is traded on the CME and can be traded daily. This video explains the contract specifications of the Bitcoin futures contract. For discussion : 1. What is one contract worth in US dollars? 2. What causes the value...
  • What is Bitcoin?

    Bitcoin seems to be all the rage at the moment. Is this fake money, or is it a legitimate method of payment? This video from the CME answers the following questions: 1. What is Bitcoin? 2. How is Bitcoin created? 3. How can individuals and institutions...
  • 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...
  • Why the Weakening US Dollar?

    This Financial Times video shows that the US dollar (USD) has been declining significantly this year, but the reason for the decline is not straightforward. The video offers one possible reason for the weak dollar: the Fed's low probability of raising...
  • 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:...
  • Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler on Nudges, Shoves, and Risk Management

    Richard Thaler is the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics. From the NY Times (Oct 9, 2017): Richard H. Thaler, whose work has persuaded many economists to pay more attention to human behavior, and many governments to pay more attention to...
  • What Investment Bankers Seek in Job Candidates

    What do employers look for? School performance is important, but that is just the minimum hurdle. Employers are looking for more than just grades. Watch this video to see what Goldman Sachs looks for in job candidates:
  • 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...
  • What is a Futures Contract

    A futures contract is an agreement between two parties to buy or sell some asset at a pre-specified price on a future settlement date. The video below provides a little more detail about what goes into a futures contract. For discussion 1. What is...
  • Trading Today Vs. Yesterday

    This video gives an interesting view of how trading has shifted from the open outcry chaos to the computer based trading of today. For discussion : 1. What are the changes that have taken place since the end of pit trading? 2. What are the benefits...
  • 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...
  • Credit Cards and College Students

    Credit card companies used to find new clients by advertising on college campuses. But the rules have changed: From US News & World Report : Banks have long feasted on unsuspecting young adults by offering them t-shirts, food, and other “free”...
  • Should You Invest In This Market?

    The equity market has been climbing, and this video tells how investors are finally getting used to the idea. In fact, it claims that investors are learning to love this market where they have been nervous to join it so far For discussion What is...
  • 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 Tulip Bubble...Again

    Bonds have been going up, up, up. Just like tulips did back in the 1600s. From Investopedia: In 1593 tulips were brought from Turkey and introduced to the Dutch. The novelty of the new flower made it widely sought after and therefore fairly pricey...
  • Key Person Life Insurance

    Key man risk, or key person risk, is the reliance on one or few individuals in the firm such that their departure will significantly impact the future of the business. The infographic below discusses factors that influence key person risk. But before...
  • 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...
  • How To Predict The Next Financial Crisis?

    Have we learned anything from the last 10 years? How can we protect ourselves from the next financial bubble? This Financial Times video points out a few rules of thumb to predict the next banking crisis: For discussion: What "myths" does...
  • 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...