The Top Schools In The Nation Are All Party Schools!

What do Penn State, Texas A&M, University of Illinois, Purdue, and Arizona State University have in common?  They are considered the Top 5 best schools in the nation according to recruiters!  Wall Street Journal has this unique ranking system where they essentially ask corporate recruiters to rank their best schools.

I’ve seen a lot of college surveys before, and not once have I ever seen any of these schools in the Top 5, let alone in the top 10.  Let’s be honest, for the same cost, would you go to one of these schools over Harvard, Yale, Penn, MIT, Michigan, or Berkeley?  Most would say “probably not,” so what gives?

Let’s have a look at why recruiters are so excited about these schools.

Blink And Blink Again

It’s safe to say that before you began reading this post, you had no idea you were blinking.  Blink, blink, blink.  Whatcha going to do about it now that you are aware of your fluttering eyelids?  My guess is that your memory will last as long as a gnat, and you’ll forget as soon as you finish reading this post.

It’s amazing how we can blink roughly 36,000 times a day and not even be aware.  Yet, if we were to be consciously aware of our need to blink, we’d probably drive ourselves mad.  How great it is that our bodies protect ourselves from insanity by doing the things for us we have no desire of doing ourselves.

SUDDENLY YOU’LL WAKE UP

Understanding Happiness, Taxes, and Net Worth

Good day brilliant minds!  I thought it would be helpful to do a recap of the conclusions from this past week’s posts given we had over 200 comments.  We talked about three important subjects: Happiness, Taxes, and Net Worth.

The purpose of these articles is to get people thinking about issues so we can be more open minded.  If anybody has ever participated in the case study method of learning in graduate school or elsewhere, you’ll know that there isn’t a right answer so much as a right direction.  It’s so easy to get caught up in your belief that your way is the right way.  That’s a dangerous, dangerous path to take!

The Ideal Income For Maximum Happiness

Is There Ever A Right Time To Upgrade Your Engagement Ring?

One of my old friends, Peter mentioned the other day that he got engaged.  He’s 37 and she’s 28.  They met about 4 years ago at a bar when he was somewhat inebriated but immediately hit it off.

Peter isn’t exactly the most studly looking guy standing at 5′ 7″ with a belly hanging over his belt, but he’s kind.  They are two months into their engagement and don’t plan to get married until next summer.  All was going well until one night, Peter’s fiance Nancy inquired about when she could upgrade her engagement ring!

YOUNG EXPECTATIONS

When Rich People Call You Cheap

I ran into one of my golfing buddies the other day while waiting for a colleague.  Greg the golfer is an every day fella who so happens to be worth north of $20 million dollars.  I don’t know exactly how much he makes a year, but it’s likely at least $3 million during normal economic times.  He’s a powerful man who deserves everything he earns, but sometimes he’s just vexing.

We got to catching up about the latest gossip on tour when he asked me if I wanted to grab a coffee at Starbucks.  I told him I was good, largely because coffee hurts my stomach, not to mention I’m supposed to be waiting for my colleague at this exact spot and time to attend a meeting.  Greg responds, “Of course not, you are so cheap!” in a snide, but joking sort of way.  Unfortunately, every joke has a meaning, and being called cheap is one of the most annoying things to ever hear.

CAN’T COMPARE

Is It Better To Rent To Males Or Females?

Rent to Olivia Munn or…

Last night I got a written notice in the mail informing me that my tenant of 2.5 years is moving back East!  Can you believe it?  How could he leave paradise to move back home to the sweltering heat of New Jersey?  I will never know. Anyway,  I’m really sad to see him go because he was as close to the ideal tenant as possible.

Ned paid on time, was quiet, held no raging parties, and never bothered me to come fix anything.  OK, so there were several times when he needed an extra week or two to pay rent, but in the end he always delivered.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR IN A TENANT AS A 13 YEAR LANDLORD

* Great credit (680 or higher, and the higher the better).

* Not a psycho killer.  You know the ones with crazy eyes when you talk to them.

* Has a stable source of income, which could include interest income if s/he has no job.

* Has enough money in the bank to cover at least 18 months of rent  if they lose their job.

* Good prior landlord references

* Longer than 1 year duration at his or her job.  Longer the better.

* A pleasant demeanor i.e. not an axe murderer.

If a candidate possesses all of the above attributes, I’m more than likely to rent my apartment to them.  It’s really not worth taking a risk on a poor tenant and end up missing out on months of rental income due to non payment, or litigation!  The real question I have is whether it’s better to rent to males or females and whether it matters at all?  Let’s discuss.

WHO MAKES BETTER TENANTS: MALES vs. FEMALES?

As a landlord, all you want is : 1) On time payment, 2) zero complaints, and 3) minimum wear and tear.  In other words, if I could rent to a robot who doesn’t have to move and always sends me a check electronically on time, that would be the best!

1) DEPENDABILITY: It’s pretty much a wash between men and women.  Men are just as flaky as women and women are just as dependable as men, sometimes.  Actually, if I exam all the females I know, they are all pretty damn dependable, whereas some of the guys just tend to be complete flakazoids who are never on time.  OK, women are favored here 60/40.

2) COMPLAINTS: Men pride themselves on being able to unclog the toilet, change light bulbs, fix holes in walls, and pain(t).  Women, not so much.  I’ve heard of stories where women will call their landlord to squash a spider.  Come on now, a spider is like 1/1,000,000 the size of you!  Men get the nod 70/30.

3) WEAR AND TEAR: This is a tough one.  Men tend to enjoy throwing parties with lots of loud music and fountains of alcohol.  Keg parties, strip parties, bachelor parties, birthday parties, shaking hands with Hilary Clinton parties you name it!  Women don’t throw ragers as often as men for some reason.  Furthermore, it is the unmarried woman who tends to sleep over at the boyfriend’s house more often than vice versa.  Hence, there is less wear and tear if you rent to a woman and therefore women are 70/30 favorites.

Bob the friendly dog walker..

CONCLUSION

Based on my three variables, I’m having trouble deciding which is the safer sex to rent to.  Women just seem so much more respectable and less violent.  How many serial killers do you know are women?  In the movie “Pacific Heights”, Michael Keaton was a man and not a woman.

My gut tells me women are better, but the funny thing is my last tenant of 2.5 years was a man, and he was great!  If you don’t mind sharing your thoughts on who you’d prefer to have as a renter, I’d much appreciate it!

* Please note that it is illegal to discriminate against a potential tenant based on sex, race, or creed.  However, it is legal to ask a question and wonder out loud.

Recommendations:

* Manage Your Finances In One Place: The best way to become financially independent and protect yourself is to get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 25+ difference accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to manage my finances. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing and how my net worth is progressing.

* Shop Around For A Mortgage: LendingTree Mortgage offers some of the lowest refinance rates today because they have a huge network of lenders to pull from. If you’re looking to buy a new home, get a HELOC, or refinance your existing mortgage, consider using LendingTree to get multiple offer comparisons in a matter of minutes. Interest rates are at all time lows in 2015 due to volatility and unrest in the markets. When banks compete, you win.

* For Tenants: Take a moment to check your free credit score through GoFreeCredit.com, a company I trust. If you are in a hot rental market, or really want a particular rental, you should have your credit score as part of your application for your landlord. I am a multi-property landlord and highly value a credit score and report. Those who come to me with their credit score stand out above others who don’t. If you do not want to pay for the credit monitoring, simply cancel within the grace period.

Updated on 1/20/2014

 

The Four Different Ways To Spend Money By Milton Friedman

The reason why Warren Buffet is so great is because he’s able to distill the most complicated financial topics into very simple terms.  Lucky for us, there is someone like Warren in the economics world.  Regular reader, Investor Junkie who disagrees with the government’s unemployment insurance extension, but agrees with the cessation of rising taxes, highlights a fantastic video by the great economist Milton Friedman about four different ways of spending money.

Professor Friedman’s examples are simple and perfectly to the point.  In an environment where we are spending other people’s money on someone else (deciding how other people’s tax dollars are spent), we don’t maximize the value of the dollar because we simply don’t have much at stake.

Professor Friedman highlights that people spending someone else’s money on others is a “distributor of welfare funds.”  Strong words with a certain amount of truth wouldn’t you agree?  In “The Ultimate Solution To A Fair Tax Policy In America”, I discuss the concept of limiting the voting ability of the 47% of non tax paying Americans on raising taxes for the other 53%.   Don’t worry, voting rights for everything else is status quo.  The reason why I suggest this rational solution is because it makes sure the country isn’t overrun by those who have their cake (don’t pay taxes) and get to eat it too (enjoy the benefits).

One can easily see an America where 90%+ of citizens don’t pay taxes and stick it to the 10% rich because it’s rational to look out for your own interests.  It’s up to balanced people who believe in equity to continue fighting for those who perpetually get unfairly blamed for our economy’s problems.  It really is ironic, because if everybody studied hard in school, volunteered their time to help others, and were self-sufficient (doesn’t have to be wealthy), America wouldn’t have nearly the amount of problems we have now!

The 4 Ways Of Spending

1) Spend your own money on yourself.

2) Spend your own money on somebody else.

3) Spend somebody else’s money on yourself.

4) Spend somebody else’s money on somebody else.

Readers, do you agree or disagree with Professor Friedman’s thesis that the 4th way of spending is the worst way of spending?  If you do agree, why do you think people feel it’s OK to spend other people’s money as they wish?

Regards,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

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