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Finance

Whether you think to prepare for a career, or go into business for yourself, making money should have been taught better at school. Educate yourself on financial topics using the links below.
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Financial Management

The stockholders who own a corporation want its managers to maximize its overall value and the current price of its shares. The stockholders can all agree on the goal of value maximization, so long as financial markets give them the flexibility to manage their own savings and investment plans. Of course, the objective of wealth maximization does not justify unethical behavior.

Investment decisions force a trade-off. The firm can either invest cash or return it to shareholders, for example, as an extra dividend. When the firm invests cash rather than paying it out, shareholders forgo the opportunity to invest it for themselves in financial markets. The return that they are giving up is therefore called the opportunity cost of capital. If the firm's investments can earn a return higher than the opportunity cost of capital, shareholders cheer and stock price increases. If the firm invests at a return lower than the opportunity cost of capital, shareholders boo and stock price falls.

Managers may consider their own personal interests, which creates a potential conflict of interest with outside shareholders. This conflict is called a principal-agent problem. Any loss of value that results is called an agency cost. Corporate governance helps to align managers' and shareholders' interests, so that managers pay close attention to the value of the firm. For example, managers are appointed by, and sometimes fired by, the board of directors, who are supposed to represent shareholders. The managers are spurred on by incentive schemes, such as grants of stock options, which pay off big only if the stock price increases. If the company performs poorly, it is more likely to be taken over, ushering in a new management team.

Robert Kiyosaki - Rich Dad, Poor Dad

The books, 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' and 'Rich Dad's Guide to Investing' by Robert Kiyosaki occupy 2 places in the top 10 of the New York Times best-seller list. To invest freely and grow rapidly, being able to take advantage and use the money earned with safety and convenience, you may consider starting a business, and learning how to deal with taxes and financial responsibilities.

It would be wiser moving forward to look at tax rates and benefits of expensing as a limited liability company (LLC), using smart contracts on blockchain ledgers that execute automatically. Use local banking and pay taxes with good accounting, also allows other businesses to value our company based on multiple years of growth and earnings, and that just isn’t possible without reliable financial records.


Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Graham Stephan

Warren Buffett


In this video, Warren Buffett enumerates 7 investing principles that he has used to get high returns over decades of experience, consistently out-performing the market. If you're interested in the stock market, you would do well to emulate Mr Buffett.

Carl Icahn


Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn discusses investment strategy, his short of the derivatives index CMBX 6, and his refiner CVR Energy's large-scale purchase of oil. He speaks with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Markets: The Close.

Peter Lynch


Peter Lynch is an American investor, mutual fund manager, and philanthropist. As the manager of the Magellan Fund at Fidelity Investments, Lynch averaged a 29% annual return, consistently more than double the S&P 500 stock market index, making it the best-performing mutual fund in the world.

Mike Novogratz


Mike Novogratz, Galaxy Investment Partners founder, discusses his interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker.

Present Value

Firms can best help their shareholders by accepting all projects that are worth more than they cost. In other words, they need to seek out projects with positive net present values. Net present value is present value plus any immediate cash flow. The discount rate is determined by rates of return prevailing in capital markets. If the future cash flow is absolutely safe, then the discount rate is the interest rate on safe securities such as U.S. government debt. If the future cash flow is uncertain, then the expected cash flow should be discounted at the expected rate of return offered by equivalent-risk securities.

Cash flows are discounted for two simple reasons: because a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow and a safe dollar is worth more than a risky one. Financial markets, including the bond and stock markets, are the markets where safe and risky future cash flows are traded and valued. That is why we look to rates of return prevailing in the financial markets to determine how much to discount for time and risk. By calculating the present value of an asset, we are estimating how much people will pay for it if they have the alternative of investing in the capital markets.

Financial Planning

Hedge funds are well-known for taking on greater risk, focusing on very high returns. Hedge funds have few restrictions on how they can invest, so your job security rests squarely on your ability to earn above-market returns. In order to prove yourself in this highly-competitive field, expect very long hours, and high stress. Large firms manage a variety of asset classes, while boutique firms focus on a particular market niche, such as small-cap stocks or high-yield bonds. While hedge funds and money managers buy and sell securities, private equity firms purchase entire corporations, seeking to either resell the companies outright, or take them public. Your job duties may include analyzing potential purchases, negotiating deals, raising financing, or working directly on portfolio profitability.

Financial planning is concerned with the management of the firm's short-term, current assets and liabilities. The most important current assets are cash, marketable securities, accounts receivable, and inventory. The most important current liabilities are short-term loans and accounts payable, and the difference between current assets and current liabilities is called working capital.

A firm that issues large amounts of long-term debt or common stock, or that retains a large part of its earnings, may find it has permanent excess cash. However, large cash holdings can lead to complacency. Other firms raise relatively little long-term capital and end up as permanent short-term debtors. Most firms attempt to find a golden mean by financing all fixed assets and part of current assets with equity and long-term debt. Such firms may invest cash surpluses during part of the year and borrow during the rest of the year.

If the forecasted cash balance is insufficient to cover day-to-day operations and to provide a buffer against contingencies, the company will need to find additional finance. The financial manager must explore the consequences of different assumptions about cash requirements, interest rates, sources of finance, and so on. Firms use computerized financial models to help in this process.

Credit Card Interest, Credit Scores

Student credit cards are easy to obtain via an online application, but monthly payments can be difficult to manage. As with most credit cards, the interest rates may be high, and there may be an annual fee to pay. Beyond this, however, be aware that the credit card company can raise your interest rates if you are late on even one payment. Student credit cards should be used as a last resort if you need to buy a computer for school, and have a steady job, or other regular income to pay off the credit card in full within a few months. You can get a free credit report online, or check your credit score at one of the 'Big 3' Credit Bureaus, Transunion, Experian, or Equifax.

You can improve your credit score dramatically by securing credit cards, and then simply not using your credit line. Your credit score is a ratio of your total available credit to the amount of debt that you carry. For example, if you get more credit cards, and don't use the credit, your available credit has increased, but your debt load has remained constant. Banks and credit unions naturally offer the easiest credit to the borrowers who need it least, and have strict employment and earnings requirements. You may also be asked to list your assets, or seek a co-signer, if you don't have sufficient income to qualify for a credit card on your own.

When applying for a credit card, note that many cards promote no annual fee for the first year, but then hit you with a high annual fee in following years. You can also incur fees by taking out a cash advance, which is usually charged back at a higher interest rate, if not paid in full within the same billing period. You are told that you can get cash back on certain purchases, but no-one mentions that the interest charges over time may be higher in fact, than your savings. In addition, there are hidden transaction fees, and charges for using your credit card overseas. Using your credit card to buy things you don't really need, or to get cash advances, is just not smart financial planning. There are better ways to get the extra money that you need.

Corporate Borrowing

The most profitable firms within an industry generally have the most conservative capital structures. Under the trade-off theory, high profitability should mean high debt capacity and a strong tax incentive to use that capacity. Firms use internal financing when available and choose debt over equity when external financing is required. This explains why the less profitable firms in an industry borrow more-not because they have higher target debt ratios but because they need more external financing and because debt is next on the pecking order when internal funds are exhausted.

If investors pay higher taxes on interest income than on equity income (dividends and capital gains), then interest tax shields to the corporation will be partly offset by higher taxes paid by investors. U.S. tax rates on dividends and capital gains have reduced the tax advantage to corporate borrowing. The trade-off theory balances the tax advantages of borrowing against the costs of financial distress. Corporations are supposed to pick a target capital structure that maximizes firm value. Firms with safe, tangible assets and plenty of taxable income to shield ought to have high targets. Unprofitable companies with risky, intangible assets ought to rely more on equity financing.

Managers know more about their firms than outside investors do, and they are reluctant to issue stock when they believe the price is too low. They try to time issues when shares are fairly priced or overpriced. Investors understand this, and interpret a decision to issue shares as bad news. That explains why stock price usually falls when a stock issue is announced. Debt is better than equity when these information problems are important. Optimistic managers will prefer debt to undervalued equity, and pessimistic managers will be pressed to follow suit. The pecking-order theory says that equity will be issued only when debt capacity is running out and financial distress threatens.

Financial Jobs

There are several credentials that finance professionals must possess to begin working. If you are planning to break into finance as a broker, you'll need a Series 7 license, as well as a Series 63 license. These will allow you to sell stocks, bonds, and other securities in those states that your firm is registered in. For those that wish to work as equity traders, this field requires a Series 55 license. Exams are difficult and will require preparation. Analysts are required to pass the Series 16 supervisory analyst exam, which permits distribution of analytical reports. Further, analysts may take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.


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