Be Your Own Venture Capitalist & Build A Broad Portfolio

By the time Baidu, the “Google of China” went public, Venture Capital firm Draper Fisher’s 28% stake was worth over $1 billion dollars by the end of the trading day. Not a bad return considering their likely sub-$50 million investment just years ago! In a world full of strikeouts, it just takes one home run to win a ball game.

The Financial Samurai reader is savvy enough to know that strong work ethnic and good morals are key pieces of the success puzzle. Sometimes you just need to be in the right place at the right time. When Venture Capital firms fund startups, they are looking to take equity stakes in companies in a robust industry, lead by visionaries who can execute towards enormous profit potential. The majority of investments go bust, and the successes often take years and tons of selfless involvement before returns are seen. Eventually, the exit strategy is for their investment to get acquired or IPO.

We have the opportunity to be our very own individual venture capitalists everyday. Many of us may take for granted the people we meet, but not you. After all, all it takes is one billionaire to give you one million dollars before you’re rich right? Receiving an opportunity is what it’s all about. You’re reading this post essentially because like me, you want to be financially independent sooner, rather than later. The ability to be financially independent by 40 is the reason why we work so hard now. If the deadline was 20 years longer, where’s the fun and challenge in that?

Government Employee Entitled to A $100,000,000 Bonus!

Yes, I know I’m being a tad bit facetious here, but not really. After getting US$45 billion in government aid, the US government and we the people of America own roughly 36% of Citigroup. The interesting debate is whether Citigroup employee, Andrew J Hall should be paid his $100 million bonus as described in his contract.

Most initial responses are with a vehement “HELL NO!” Who on earth deserves to get paid that much, people must think. However, what if Andrew Hall was responsible for bringing in $1 billion in revenue? Is it so egregious to pay the man responsible, a 10% cut? After all, $900,000,000 sure does employ and pay for many other Citigroup employee’s salaries! Should Citigroup risk not paying their star, and his team of employees for the overall sake of the firm and shareholders? As one colleague aptly put it, “RB, we live in America not North Korea!”

The Dumpster Of Treasure


A funny thing happened yesterday when my friend and I were waiting for a space in the club parking lot. We were doing some stretches outside when an old man with a bamboo stick over his shoulder and too medium bags at each end came tiptoeing in. Where in the world was he going, we asked ourselves. Our eyes followed him to the back corner of the lot, which extends around and into the club. Like a ninja, he proceed to jump into the big recycling dumpster and start rummaging!

After about 5 minutes, he popped out, and those medium sized bags on each end morphed into bags the size of his own body. This time, he happily walked away and didn’t tiptoe around us. Cool, he’s decided to lessen the dumpster’s load and take some plastic bottles and cans for himself. Maybe the old guy can get some trade in value for his stash, although I can’t imagine very much.

The friendĀ and I are still waiting for a spot 5 minutes later when ANOTHER man with bamboo stick and plastic bags on each end comes marching in. This fella was younger, perhaps in his 30’s and could literally have been the older man’s son. He didn’t do any tiptoeing, he just marched right in and climbed into the dumpster. After about 10 minutes, he threw himself out, and muttered in disgust, “Don’t people recycle anymore?!” and walked away.

What Will August Bring…….


I had lunch today with one of the co-founders of BuzzLogic to catch up on life and discuss the world of online social media. If you don’t know about BuzzLogic, the company is one of Silicon Valley’s great start ups that got into the blogging world early. BuzzLogic developed a unique technological platform and a fantastic premium display ad network that maximizes the returns of advertisers and publishers alike. If you’re an advertiser or publisher, it’s definitely worth a look.

The funny thing is, my friend and I have been playing poker together for the past couple years, and I had no idea what he did. I just assumed everybody was a poker junky and I did my best to blend in, often times trying to beat the lowest denominator on the dress scale with my raggidy sweats and soiled baseball cap. Perhaps they’d have mercy on me given my appearance, or perhaps they’d smell blood and bulldoze me over! Both strategies have their strengths and weaknesses, but after a while, they all figured out I’m one of the tightest players at the table. At any rate, it just goes to show you how small the world is, so be nice to everyone, especially in a big city.

My friend shared with me many great tips for Financial Samurai, one of which I will implement today. At the end of every month, I will produce an“Editorial Calendar” with a theme for the following month. Given that it’s only a matter of time before the unemployment rate breaches 10% nationwide , many of August’s entries will be related to the intricate world of employment. From interview tips, to maximizing your chances of getting your foot in the door, to getting ahead in your career, I’d like to share some of my strategies and experiences, as well as highlight posts from the personal finance community to analyze and discuss. I’m confident that we can collectively help make a difference.

“How High Can Unemployment Go Before We Derail?”


“To MBA Or Not To MBA”


“Do Rich People Try Harder?”

If readers or publishers have great posts they’ve come across, please feel free to e-mail me or put up in the comment section. Have a wonderful weekend everybody and stay frugal!

Keigu,

Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Survey Says: Get 1,300 on Your SAT’s and a 3.9 GPA And You’re Set For Life!


A very interesting article in the New York Times highlighted PayScale’s survey of 1.2million college graduates to find out what they made right out of school, and 10 years after graduation. If you look at the picture, it’s interesting to note that the majority of schools are: 1) Private Schools, and 2) Highly Ranked in US News & World Report and other popular college rankings.

The average SAT and GPA scores of these 20 schools are roughly 1,300 and 3.7, respectively. Hence, one could argue that the key to making a six figure income 10 years out of school is simply high test scores and good grades! As such, it behooves all incoming 9th graders to recognize their grades accumulate from 9th to 12th grade, and not to mess their chances up of getting into Dartmouth, UPenn, and Yale.

IN THE LONG RUN

I really used to think education was not very useful since we forget much of what we learn. But, as I grow older, it becomes apparent that many of the most successful people we know have been very well educated. Barack Obama went to Columbia for his BA, and Harvard Law School. George Bush Senior went to Yale, and even Bush Junior went to Harvard. Say what you will, but anybody who becomes the President of the Free World is successful in my eyes. In the long run, the cream rises to the top, be it whip cream or sour cream.