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!

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR COLLEGE TUITION

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.

A LIFE IN ACADEMIA

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.

MEMORIES 

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 WORLD IS WONDERFUL

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.

THE YAKEZIE WRITING CONTEST