Tuition Hike For The Poor Is Like A Tax Hike For The Rich

In a stunning move to shore up a $535 million budget gap, the UC Regents in 2009 voted to raise student undergraduate tuition by 32 percent (to $10,302/yr)!  Nothing like a little 16X increase over the rate of inflation to get blood boiling.  And now in 2011, the UC Regents voted to raise tuition by another 18% over 2010 to a total of $13,500 a year.  Talk about runaway inflation as just two years ago that figure was sitting at $8,000.

It’s really sad that during a difficult economic climate, the University of California Regents can conceivably raise tuition by such a magnitude.  Part of the reason why many of these fine students attend the UC system is because of cost.  Students from UC Berkeley or UCLA, for example, can easily get into many of the best private schools in America.  But for many, $40,000 a year in tuition is just too hefty a burden to carry.

The reality remains that due to careless spending by the state, budget cuts and a competitive market place for attracting top professors, tuition increases are inevitable.  The California state government has messed things up for so long that it’s now time for students, who have no money of their own to pay the price.  As a result, there is a fantastic silver lining to this tuition hike: the grooming of future conservative leaders of America and more empathy towards hard working, tax paying Americans.

TUITION HIKE FOR THE POOR IS LIKE A TAX HIKE FOR THE RICH

My SUV Will Beat Up Your Hybrid & Save The World!

Why is it that some hybrid vehicle drivers eventually start looking down at non hybrid-owning drivers in disdain?  Is the “holier-than-thou” complex too hard to contain during flights of fuel sipping passion?  It’s natural to feel that whatever you purchase is the right purchase.  After all, if I overpaid for a hybrid vehicle (zing!) in hopes of saving the environment when a similar non-hybrid vehicle will do, I’d defend my decision and look down on others as well!  Don’t be mad, let me explain.

THE FINANCIAL SAMURAI VEHICLE

For those of you who have been following this site for a while, you’ll know that I’ve had plenty of cars over the past 10 years, and I now drive a 9 year older beater SUV which is MAYBE worth $6,000.  I love “Moose“, as I affectionately call him, because he adeptly takes us up the snowy mountains during the winter with its 4-wheel-drive capabilities.  Moose can conveniently carry up to  5 people with plenty of storage space, which is especially helpful when our parents visit.  Too bad Moose only gets 15mpg in the City, and 19mpg on the highway.  I can hear the hissing and booing now!

I bought “Moose” for $8,000 three years ago, from a woman who was in a hurry to dump her car before relocating to Amsterdam.  Special brownies anyone?  The hybrid craze at the time was dizzying, where seemingly rational people would spend $25,000 for a Prius vs. $15,000 for a comparable Toyota Corolla.  If people did the calculations, they’d realize the premium price paid for the car is much greater than the gas savings over an average 7 year ownership period.

Consumers weren’t adhering to our “1/10th” rule either, as I knew plenty of sub $100,000/yr income earners spending $25,000 for these hybrids.  I must repeat here again that it is absolutely financial destruction if you are spending more than 1/10th your annual gross income on a car.  Multi-millionaires follow this rule, why shouldn’t the rest of us?  Don’t give into your weak desires!

MOOSE GETS DISRESPECTED, I FIGHT BACK

I Saved $2.1 Million On Lunch – A Sit Down With Warren Buffett

I thoroughly dislike watching CNBC for investing purposes due to all the noise.  When the markets are up, they bring on every single pundit to talk about how the market is going higher.  When the markets are down, they bring on all the bearish pundits to tell you why the world is coming to an end.  I remember when the S&P hit the ominous 666 level earlier this year, they brought in a “famed” technical analyst who said to expect S&P 200 by year-end.   What was her name again? I forget.  Watch CNBC for entertainment purposes mainly, and a little bit of learning.  Don’t watch CNBC to get rich.

Sometimes though, CNBC puts together something great.  And that great feat was bringing Warren Buffet (Columbia B-School Alum) and Bill Gates together in a town hall with all their business school students to ask them questions.

Here are some of the most memorable lines paraphrased from the show:

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.

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.

Financial Samurai $1,000 Giveaway & Your Chance To Make Millions Over Your Career!

“It’s not whether you have your MBA, it’s where it came from,” writes John Micklethwait, Editor-In-Chief of The Economist. I’m sure on at least two levels, he’s upsetting people. On one level, those without MBA’s are going to find it presumptuous that getting an MBA is a foregone conclusion.  On another level, there are thousands of MBA grads who didn’t attend the top tier schools who will take offense as well.

NA_table2-1 John is smart to be so opinionated because after all, the people who will be buying his magazine are those who have always wondered whether getting an MBA is a good idea.  He forces the assumption that if you picked up his magazine, you must get an MBA, and not just any MBA, but one of the top schools from his polls.

I don’t entirely agree with John, but let’s face reality, getting an MBA is gradually becoming the new standard for newcomers to the world of finance because some go-getter decided it was the right thing to do and succeeded to get others to follow.  The MBA is also too expensive to not try and go to the best school possible (although it’s not the end of the world).  The inertia is too strong to reverse now!

Here are some of the takeaways from the magazine:

The Latest “Did You Know” Video for Fall 2009

Fascinating video about the progress of technology and social media that everybody should know about.  This is my first attempt at posting up a video, so I hope it doesn’t blow up my site.  Thanks Gen Y Investor for the tips!

For all those who don’t know how to put up a video from YouTube on your site, simply go to your YouTube video, copy the HTML code on the right, past it into your HTML tab in your WordPress, click back to Visual, and edit accordingly!

Tomorrow we will reveal our $1,000 giveaway for those aspiring to get their MBA.  Even if you don’t want to get your MBA, you might know someone who does so stay tuned!

DID YOU KNOW? VERSION 4.0, FALL 2009

Readers, are you ready for the next 5 years?!

Keigu,

Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Follow me on Twitter @FinancialSamurai