There’s No Need To Worry About Other People’s Finances

Although I’ve got a lot of opinionated posts, it doesn’t really matter if you disagree with my stance so long as what you do with your money doesn’t adversely affect others. If your way works for you that’s all that matters. If it stops working for you then you might just find yourself on a site like mine searching for answers.

I’ve learned long ago that you can’t force anybody to do anything. They’ve got to experience some sort of hardship on their own before they are willing to change. Maybe it takes a heart attack to stop eating so poorly. Or maybe it takes a massive market correction to not be 100% allocated in stocks. Whatever the financial situation may be, only experience can really have an affect on someone’s outlook.

The people who are the most argumentative are also the ones who are the most unsure about their finances. They are unwilling to expand their myopic views about how they see the world. For some reason they are also almost always in their 20s and think they know it all. If you’re so inflexible in your 20s there’s a high likelihood you’ll hit a tremendous roadblock later on. When I was in my 20s all I wanted to do was learn different strategies from those who’ve been there. What changed with Gen Y?

I sincerely hope readers find different ways of looking at things on Financial Samurai. To be unable to see varying points of view is an absolute mental failure.


Should I Get An MBA To Find A Wealthy Husband Or Wife?

Average MBA Salaries From Top SchoolsWhy bother working hard all your life for a chance at financial freedom if you don’t have to? Instead of directing all your energy to making more, saving more, and investing wisely, it might be a better use of your time to identify where the wealthy and the potentially wealthy hang out.

Let’s say you are sick of your 30 year old Super Motivated Boyfriend (SMB) because he’s more focused on his career than you. He cocked things up in his 20s by partying too much and is now playing catch up if he ever wants to “be somebody” in today’s society. Meanwhile, here you are, a lovely 27 year old woman who just wasted the past two years of your life on this commitment-phobe. What to do?

Go to the most prestigious business school possible of course! For example, my fellow MBA classmates from Berkeley all earn six figure salaries with seven figure net worths seven years out and Berkeley isn’t even in the top 5. Their ages range from 35-40 and all of them are also married. (See: How To Make Six Figures At Almost Any Age)


Student Loans For College: An Inevitability For All But A Lucky Few

Wren Building College Of William & MaryAt 55 years old, Dr. Lin has been practicing dentistry for close to 30 years.  He grew up in Oakland and attended UC Berkeley for undergrad thanks to his stellar academic record.  When he graduated, Dr. Lin’s parents gave him three choices of what to do with his life: 1) Dentist, 2) Doctor, or 3) Lawyer.  Not very pleased with his limited choices, Dr. Lin choice the “easiest” of the three and became a Dentist by going to UCSF.

I first met Dr. Lin at an SF Giant’s baseball game our respective private bankers invited us to.  Despite the 20 year age gap, we connected immediately through a common interest in the stock markets.  Dr. Lin kept on telling me to buy dividend stocks such as BP and Coco Cola because they were “risk-free” investments with a guaranteed dividend return.  It’s how his mother got rich, and it’s how he is getting rich now.  Given any investment enough time, and chances are, things will turn out alright.

When I asked Dr. Lin about why he invested so much of his net worth in dividend stocks, he responded, “I’ve got two college age sons, and they are expensive!


Life After The Private Sector: Should I Get A Ph.D.?

UC BerkeleyPart of my goal during sabbatical is to explore other opportunities.  I’ve been in the private sector for 13 years and I’m looking to do something else.  I’ve been fortunate to save a good chunk of change during this period of intense capitalism.  Furthermore, with the creation of an online business to keep food on the table, there’s no need to do anything just for money anymore.

A key reason why I loved getting my MBA part-time for 3 years was because I didn’t have to worry about getting good grades.  I already had the “dream job” many MBA grads aspired to land.  Going to graduate school was purely for the sake of learning and meeting interesting people in various fields of work.

Once you make enough money to feel comfortable, making more money no longer becomes interesting.  What I’m more interested in is further self-actualization, service, and giving back to the community.


The Privilege Of Giving Back Through Yakezie

Number 2 Pencil Over Bowl Of Strawberry GuavasIf there’s one thing the Yakezie Network stands for, it’s hopefully the culture of giving back to the community.  To be able to give back is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  At some point in our lives we cross a threshold where we have a little more than we need.  Reaching that threshold is a perfect time to start helping others.

The people who inspire the most are those who give, yet don’t have much themselves.  It’s the beggar on the street who gives his blanket to a partner on a penetratingly cold night.  It’s the five year old girl who gives away her only gift to a boy she does not know at an event for orphans.

If we don’t have money, we can always donate our time.  If we can donate both, even better!  I think it’s important to level the playing field so that everybody has a chance to succeed.  If someone is born into an environment that is not conducive towards education, it becomes very difficult to break free.  For those of us who have been given opportunities, we should provide similar opportunities for others.

The Yakezie Network launched its 4th Yakezie Writing Contest that provides at least $1,000 total to three finalists to help further their educational expenses.  100% of all proceeds goes directly to the winning applicants.  Please click the link to read more about the contest as well as the details about how to submit before the target deadline of Saturday, June 2nd.  Deadline is subject to change depending on the number of entrants.

Below is a sample of one of the previous YWC winners.  The young woman talks about her memories of her father.  This is one of my favorites.


Sponsored Video: The State Of The Global Economy

Whenever I travel on a long business trip overseas, I always ask the flight attendant for three papers: The FT, The Wall Street Journal, and a copy of the destination city’s newspaper. This way, I can get a blend of global + local news in order to converse more easily with the clients I’m visiting.

If you ever wonder how some people can make cocktail party conversations look so easy, it’s simply because they are voracious consumers of media. If you can seamlessly switch from sharing your views on the new French Socialist President Hollande’s policies to April’s US existing housing sales rebound to whether OKC will take out San Antonio in 6 or 7 games, you will be a master of conversation.

Financial Samurai’s editorial will continue to contain a combination of topical posts along with personal stories to keep things interesting.  In fact, I dare say that if you become a regular reader of this site, your cocktail party conversational skills will shoot through the roof!

In the below 3 minute 29 second video, you’ll gain a quick snapshot of the global economy and where specific countries stand in terms of size, GDP per capita, growth, education, and happiness.  Remember, everything is relative and making tons of money isn’t necessarily better if it takes many more hours in the process.  Have a look at the video and let me know your thoughts on what stood out.

Some points that stood out:

* New Zealand has 1 ranked education system vs. #5 for the US

* Netherlands is #1 in pay per hour.

* Brazil legally gets 30 days off vs. 5 in China and 0 in US.

* Brazil is considered the happiest country in the world.  Although, based on a latest OECD happiness report, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands are even happier.

This video was sponsored by The Financial Times.

Are You A Financial Dumb Ass?

Financial DumbassEvery now and again, I stumble across something that makes me wonder, “Are you a dumb ass?”  Someone forwarded me a post from a year ago where a PF blogger spent $60,000 on a luxury car right after revealing his net worth was only $55,000!  I mean seriously, is that not a little messed up or what?  It’s almost as dumb as a minimalist owning multiple Apple products, a health nut who smokes and drinks soda, a vegan who wears leather shoes, and an evangelist who embezzles millions from you.

When I innocently asked why he spent more on his car than his entire family’s net worth, another commenter responded that it was because the blogger wanted to save money by spending money so he wouldn’t have money left over every month to spend.  Huh?  What?  Hmmmmm.  That’s just dumb.


The Yakezie Writing Contest And Micro-Giving

One of my favorite business school classes focused on Emerging Market Economies.  We read C.K. Prahalad’s book called, “Fortune At The Bottom Of The Pyramid“, which basically described how entrepreneurs were finding cost effective ways to serve the poorest people in the world and also be profitable.

Conventional business wisdom states that one must go after those consumers with the deepest pockets and the highest propensity to spend.  Prahalad argues that we have a social responsibility to help the other end of the spectrum improve their living standards and not be afraid of going bust in the process.

One of the keys that came out of helping the poor in emerging markets is the concept of micro-lending.  Micro-lending is a fascinating concept which essentially pools together the funds of people in usually small communities, and lends out those funds to a select few.  Together, a community is able to help each other more impactfully than if they were separate.  What’s also very interesting is that the tighter the community, the lower the default rates compared to conventional banks because everybody feels a deep sense of responsibility.


Grades Don’t Matter!

Bank Of Mom And DadFor all those who didn’t perform well in college, don’t want to perform well in college, aren’t willing to go back to grad school to give yourself a second chance, and like to make excuses for not trying harder, you’re in for a real treat!  It’s clear from the comments in my article “Examples of Good Resumes That Get Jobs,” that your GPA doesn’t matter.  As someone who has participated in the hiring of dozens of individuals all these years, I’ve got it all wrong and I’m glad you called me out on it.

I’d like to think of myself as a very flexible person who sees both sides of the equation.  Hence, in this post, I want to highlight why your GPA doesn’t matter at all, and why you should feel confident in never putting your GPA on your resume.  Working hard is overrated and employers are certainly looking for as many C and B students out there as they are A students.


Examples Of Good Resumes That Get Jobs

Climb The Corporate Ladder

Climbing The Corporate Ladder

With cashed up corporate balance sheets and strong earnings growth, employment levels continue to improve across America in 2015. The latest unemployment rate has declined to 5.6% as of June 27, 2015. Meanwhile, the number of long-term unemployed fell 300,000, the sharpest drop in 2½ years, to 3.5 million.

It’s in the first half where ideally all hiring shall be done because: 1) The best available people are still available. There is a bias against people looking in the 3rd and 4th quarter because rightly or wrongly, companies will be wondering what’s wrong with you for not having found something earlier; 2) Companies need to spend their budgets while they are still available. There’s no time like the present; 3) Hiring an employee at the start of the year gets the most out of the employee, especially if there is a guaranteed compensation package.

If you find yourself looking for a job in the second half of the year, it’s important to hustle a little more or prepare for activity to pick up in the spring. Don’t give up home. Use this time to plan more thoroughly.

I’ve seen over 7,000 resumes in my career and hopefully this article and subsequent articles linked within can help you out. An excellent resume should be standard.