September 17, 2014

Mail Bag: Should I Take Out Student Loans to Invest?

Federal Stafford Student Loan Debt Promissory Note

One of the single most common questions I receive from friends, family, and readers who are enrolled in college is, "Should I take out student loans and invest the excess above and beyond the cost of college?"  No doubt spurred by the historically low rates - the interest expense on a typical government student loan is lower at the moment than the dividend yield on high quality blue chip stocks - the topic brings up a host of financial considerations. The General Answer to, "Should I Take Out … [Read more...]

Debbie Gibson Has Invaded the Office

Debbie Gibson Lost In Your Eyes

This is the most bizarre thing that has happened to me in years. All day long, out of nowhere, I have had the 1988 hit song "Lost in Your Eyes" by Debbie Gibson in my head.  It was released when I was 5 or 6 years old.  I don't even remember anything about it, nor how I know it.   I don't even remember any other Debbie Gibson songs as she was before my time.  This is from a period in my life when I was, quite literally, watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.  I had to Google her name to even reme … [Read more...]

Earning Money on Your Money

Making Money on Your Money

One old definition of "being rich" is when your money earns money.  This afternoon, I was writing a piece and reviewing the dividend yields on some of the common stock holdings owned by my household personally, outside of the business, when I began quantifying that in the back of my mind.  How much would it take to demonstrably meet that threshold?  It would make an interesting post.   The best place to start is where most of you, and I, live: The United States.  We know the median American fami … [Read more...]

Martha Stewart, the Christmas Ham, and Status Quo Bias

Martha Stewart and Her Daughter

Just Because Something Is Old Does Not Mean It Is Right A significant error in thinking comes from people using "It has always been this way" as justification for the state of things.  As if, somehow, precedence confers legitimacy.  Just because something is old does not mean it is right.  Being long-established does not mean optimal performance.  This is a particular problem for larger businesses and institutions, including non-profits. It is a stupid argument.  It should be self-evident to an … [Read more...]