Should I Go To Grad School? Get Rich Or Die Trying!

I’ve decided to dedicate much of the rest of this month focusing on graduate schools, specifically the much loved and vilified graduate degree, the MBA.  The deadline for round 1 applications is fast approaching, and I’ve come up with a $1,000 giveaway that any aspiring MBA applicant, PhD applicant, or grad school applicant for that matter may be interested in receiving.  Hence, feel free to spread the word and stay tuned!  For now, let’s start off with a layup as to why getting your graduate degree is a good idea, if you want to make more money.

Many personal finance publishers use Net Worth IQ as a way to track their financial progress.  NW IQ managed to gather a bunch of good data to digest and analyze.  A lot of it is just common sense such as the older you are, the greater your net worth tends to be.

This is the chart that stood out most:

Education Profile Count % of Pop. Median Net Worth
Less than high school graduate 21 0.67 % $26,440
High school graduate 79 2.53 % $40,570
High school graduate with some college 322 10.32 % $25,189
Associate degree 117 3.75 % $46,464
Bachelors degree 1460 46.78 % $73,461
Masters, professional, doctoral degree 901 28.87 % $193,761
Total Reporting Users: 2900

Why Do People Spend More Than They Earn?

Why is it that the #1 re-occurring theme in the personal finance community is addressing how to eradicate debt due to overspending?  What is it that makes a rational person spend more than their income allows?

If you have $5 bucks in your hand for a Subway sandwich, how do you go to Morton’s Steakhouse and borrow $35 to buy a $40 rib-eye?  If you make $50,000 a year, why would you buy a $50,000 BMW with a $45,000 loan?  After overhearing what a father told his daughter at the Porsche dealer this weekend (it was on the way home), I have a feeling spending irrationally starts when we are kids.

Ouch! Sam Bradford & New College Academic Polls

Given it’s the weekend, I’m not going to write too much, but two things worth highlighting given it relates to some of our previous posts.

1) Sam Bradford of Oklahoma got injured and his then #3 Oklahoma Sooner’s LOST to BYU (#20).  What does this mean?  He may never play up to his potential again, thereby losing $20,000,000 in guaranteed money by not going to the NFL last year.  Perhaps just as painful, Oklahoma will not be considered to play in the national championships again this year.

Oh well, that’s life.  Who needs the money anyway when you can have so much fun in college and get your degree?  However, all you prospective pro athletes, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail for advice.  We’ll look out for you, even if the Sooner faithful won’t look out for Sam by telling him to stay!

Related Post: “Forgoing $50 Million For The Love Of Football”

2) The September/October issue of Washington Monthly come out with a new type of college ranking.  I thought it was intriguing because they basically bash US News & World Report’s methodology, due to the blatant cheating by some faculty at Clemson and University of Florida to manipulate the results.

Washington Monthly’s believes that “America’s colleges are those that work hardest to help economically disadvantaged students earn the credentials that the job market demands.  They contribute new scientific discoveries, and they emphasize the obligations students have to serve their communities and the nation at large.” Hence, they offer three broad rating categories: Social Mobility, Research, and Service.

The 10 Best Universities in America

1. UC Berkeley (#21 in US News)

2. UC San diego (35)

3. UC Los Angeles (25)

4. Stanford University (4)

5. Texas A&M College Station (64)

6. South Carolina State University (NR)

7. Penn State (470

8. The College of William & Mary (32)

9. University of Texas – Austin (47)

10. UC Davis (44)

Several observations: 1) California schools dominate.  2) There’s only one private school in the Top 10.  3) The traditionally perceived elite schools are not there except for Stanford.  Is spending $50,000/year to go to private school in the east coast worth it?  Hard to say after reading the report!

Related post: “Survey Says: Get 1,300 On Your SATs & A 3.9 GPA And You’re Set for Life!”

Hope everybody is having a great weekend!  Upcoming posts will be about Net Worth, The Right Sports, and How Everything Is Relative.

Keiju,

Financial Samurai

Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries

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”

The Book That Changed My Life And Made Me Rich Again

Back in the last downturn from 2001-2003 I had incredible back pain. I couldn’t sit for very long, and my legs were going numb. Doctors told me I had sciatica, a pinched nerve down my spine that spread to the tips of my toes. Even the process of driving wore me out so I decided to stop driving altogether. One day, my colleague and I were walking towards a restaurant to meet a client and he collapsed. Apparently, he was suffering from the same symptoms I was going through. However, in his case, he had a family to take care of with his newborn child, and he was losing much more than me in the downturn.

I was the junior guy. When rumors came along that our compensation was going to be slashed in half, I hoped out loud that I would outperform since I didn’t make much in the first place. Half of nothing is still nothing I reasoned. When my bonus was slashed in half like everybody else, I was not a happy camper and asked my mentor how pitiful was I? I didn’t complain too loudly due to the rounds of layoffs, but I couldn’t help feeling disappointed.

He explained to me in a funny way I will never forget. He said, “Sam don’t worry. You don’t make much so it doesn’t matter anyways!” He went on to say, “Look at me. I have a big mortgage, a new family to support, got cut in half too and I make A LOT more than you do!” Gee thanks! At the time, I didn’t really appreciate his brutal honesty, but fast forward seven years later, I know exactly what he’s talking about. My mentor’s absolute income likely declined 10X my amount, and he was so stressed out with his newborn child that his fear and anger manifested itself into debilitating back pain.

About two months after his collapse, he told me he was entirely pain free. The markets still weren’t great, and I remember having to fork out $700 bucks for a brand new Herman Miller Aeron chair because I couldn’t sit. He gave me a copy of “Healing Back Pain,” by Dr. Sarno. There was NO WAY after seeing him crumble to the cement pavement that day, and limping around for weeks after that his back pain was healed. I was skeptical that an easy-to-read, 180-page paper back book could do wonders and get him to go out golfing with clients again. None of the massages or chiropractic visits did anything to help my pain so what’s a fluff book going to do for me?