I Saw My “FlashForward” And It Was Beautiful

flashforwardIf you haven’t seen ABC’s latest hit show “FLASHFORWARD”, you better microwave some popcorn and allocate several hours to catch up online!  The basic concept is simple: every single person in the world blackouts at the same time, and most have a flashforward, or a vision of their future of what they are doing for 137 seconds.

The tricky thing is that some didn’t have a flashforward, which presumably means he or she will die beforehand.  Your flashforward isn’t exactly what it seems either.  For example, you could be popping champagne on a yacht, but that doesn’t mean you’re a billionaire.  It could just mean you’ve been invited to a company party and you’re still mired in debt.

The Samurai Mask: An Interview With The CEO of BULLDOG Gin


A Brazen Breed of Gin

A Brazen Breed of Gin

I’m pleased to highlight a new series of articles focused on understanding the thoughts of successful entrepreneurs.   For our inaugural series, entitled, “The Samurai Mask,” I speak with the CEO and Founder of BULLDOG Gin, Mr. Anshuman Vohra, 31.  “Shu” was once a JP Morgan Banker who gave up his lucrative career to start BULLDOG Gin three years ago.  I was very inspired after watching his story about overcoming rejection on Donny Deutsche’s “The Big Idea” and I’m pleased he’s here with us today.  This is his story about finding entrepreneurial success, and going against the odds.


FS: Shu, thanks for taking the time to speak.  First of all, tell us about Bulldog Gin, and why it is such a hot product?

Shu: It’s good to speak to you and it’s an honor to be the inaugural interviewee for your new series.  BULLDOG Gin is a quadruple distilled, ultra premium gin with dragon eye and other distinctive botanicals.  This is not your old folks gin, but a younger, brazen breed of  gin that you can imagine Steve McQueen and James Bond drinking.

A Weak US Dollar Doesn’t Matter Folks!

People have been freaking out lately by a weak US dollar.  I’m here to tell you it doesn’t really matter.  Did you know that 60% of Americans have never left the country and less than 25% of Americans own passports?  Most of the 40% who leave come back, so it’s only a temporary amount of time when their purchasing power may be relatively hurt.

An even better statistic states that only 20% of Americans speak a foreign language.  Hence, where the heck are the 80% of Americans going to go if they can’t communicate with the locals?  Ok, so they may understand what “I want a double quarter pounder with cheese please” in English means, but we aren’t going very far if we can’t speak another language.  Sure a vacation is fine, but it’s not like we Americans are suddenly going to relocate overseas and establish roots.

If you are an American who makes a US$ denominated salary, buys US$ denominated assets like property, consumes Levi’s jeans, and never plans to leave the country, what are you freaking out about? The US Dollar can depreciate by 90% against the Euro, and it still wouldn’t really matter.  The government is crushing our currency on purpose and you know the government would never, ever, ever do anything to harm the people they serve.

Samurai Reflections of October & Goals for November

"Fall" by Step Into Color

“Fall” by Step Into Color

Just like that, another month has come and gone.  I’m determined to make November as productive a month as October.  Who’s with me?  Below is a recap of October and what’s in store for this month.


“We’re Ignorant Idiots!  Tell Us Why A Flat Tax System Isn’t Fair!” - Is the first post to break the 100+ comment barrier as folks argue passionately about why we are ignorant idiots!  Thanks  Larry, Roger, Steph, Fredt, Matt, Kevin, BG, FB, Jon, Mike, Wookie and all of you for chiming in so passionately!  The key takeaways from the comments are: 1) Most are opposed to a flat tax system for some odd reason :) 2) An introduction of a “wealth tax” and/or “national sales tax” seems more equitable but frankly unfeasible 3) The really rich pay less taxes because most of their income comes from long term capital gains which is currently being taxed at 15%!

“What Renting DVD’s Teaches Us About CD Yield Maximization” - This is an original concept that slaps traditional CD laddering strategies in the face.  It was interesting to see the post picked up by The Bogleheads forum and debated there since those guys are usually hardcore on financial issues.  The bottom line: Regardless of the interest rate environment, one’s CD money should always be invested in the longest term duration possible.

“Party Like It’s 1999!  10 Key Takeaways From This Recession” - The recession is officially over as we grew 3.5% year over year (YoY) in 3Q09.  As we move into 4Q09 and 1Q10 results season, earnings will see a material YoY pick up partly due to low comparables from 3Q08 and 1Q09 levels.  Accepting the economic recovery is one thing, but investing new money in the markets at these levels is another.  I’m staying very defensive as I believe November is going to be another volatile month, vulnerable to a pullback.

“The Worst Seat On An Airplane Is The Best Seat In The Office” - This is a very simple but highly effective concept for those in offices who wish to increase their recognition.  If ever you have an office move, or see a spot near the rest room, take it!  You can buy me a beer 1 year later when you become the most popular guy in your office.

“The 30/30/3 Principle For Home Buyers To Follow” - Home buying is such an emotional decision, to counteract irrational thinking, we offer a simple guideline to follow before mortgaging your life away.  If everybody followed the 30/30/3 principle, we never would have had such a blow up in the economy.  In fact, the government should introduce a bill mandating a minimum amount of financial fitness before people can spend a multiple of their yearly income on housing.


And The First $1,000 MBA Giveaway Winner Is………..

The first winner is Eric, a senior from UCLA!  Eric commented sincerely about his concerns post graduation, and whether or not it is a good idea to go to a “2nd tier” business school or just work for whatever company that hires him first.

We’ll be working with Eric to strategize a plan after UCLA and coach him through the process of finding a job in his desired field of finance, or applying to business school.