When’s the best time to invest in something? When everyone else is trying to get their money out of it. It might go against conventional thinking, but following the crowd usually makes you miss the real opportunities. At one monetary metal conference recently, the smartest guys in the industry sat down to discuss where these real hidden gems lay.
Say goodbye to your boring morning commute. New technologies are changing the way people drive their cars. It’s making them safer, more fuel efficient, and could reshape the way America builds its roads and cities. The only thing that could stand in the way...
In a 2009 article, the Huffington Post went into considerable detail about the number of people with PhD degrees in economics employed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the government’s branch of the Federal Reserve. It is not one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, all of which […]
Greetings from Maine! Right now, I’m writing from within foghorn distance of the sea. And this gives me an opportunity to tell you a down east tale that should serve as a warning to every investor: Maine’s Great Gold Swindle.I’m not talking about central banks, or manipulation of today’s markets. I’m talking about something from […]
When the NSA surveillance news broke last year it sent shockwaves through CERN, the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland. Andy Yen, a PhD student, took to the Young at CERN Facebook group with a simple message: “I am very concerned about the privacy issue, and I was wondering what I could do about it.”There was […]
Although the mainstream media have turned its attention away from the wreckage of Obamacare, don’t think for a second that all is well.As the politicos in D.C. focus their attention on the midterm elections in November, now is a great time to study, prepare, and seek out the most affordable, accessible, and highest quality options […]
Turn on the tube and economic ignorance seems to be everywhere. There is constant shilling for more government. Business is demonized. Man is said to be trashing the environment. “Workers and women are oppressed” is the constant mantra.And members of the clueless media nod their heads in unison.Only John Stossel has provided the fresh air […]
Health care costs in the U.S. have been rising so steadily for so long that containment barely seems possible. Even optimists don’t dream of cutting the price tag. As its official name — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — suggests, Obamacare aims for affordability, not radical reduction.But at a time when we’re all […]
In the minds of many people around the world, including in the United States, the term “capitalism” carries the idea of unfairness, exploitation, undeserved privilege and power, and immoral profit making. What is often difficult to get people to understand is that this misplaced conception of “capitalism” has nothing to do with real free markets […]
“In the beginning, all the world was America.” — John Locke“The Garden of Eden was a perfect place,” my friend Manuel explained. “Man had free will. He could live in harmony with nature and God — and everything would be fine. But if he defied God, the stain of original sin would be on his […]
People jacked up about income inequality can find a new hobby. The 1% are victims of a doomsday machine, and the countdown is ticking. Machine, thy name is “family.”This came to mind as I was reading a preview of Columbia Professor Andrew Ang’s forthcoming, must-read book on Asset Management. Ang is that oxymoron, an exciting […]
After a week of reckoning about the American oil and gas boom… I’ve got to get something off my chest.I can’t stand it when a coworker takes credit for something I did.Whether it’s a special report I wrote or just a little investing trick I found on my own — if someone takes it and […]
Americans have come to believe that the IRS and the income tax are inevitable parts of our lives. After all, most everyone alive today has lived his entire life under federal income taxation.It wasn’t always that way. For some 125 years, the American people lived without having any tax imposed upon their income.The obvious question […]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously used the term “forgotten man” in a 1932 speech to describe those at the bottom of the economic pyramid who, he felt, government should aid.But the originator of the phrase “forgotten man” had a whole different meaning in mind. He aimed to expose the seeming good intentions of government to reveal […]
I want to share some insight and give you a front-row seat to America’s next big shale play.Let’s get to it…Over the past 10 years, the U.S. has turned the ship around, quite literally.We’ve gone from a country that was expecting to import massive amounts of oil and gas — to a country that’s sitting […]
Whatever your views on the role of government, one thing is clear: There will be no way to pay for it if the economy doesn’t grow. And I’m not talking by a measly percentage point or two. If we can’t find our way back to 5% annual economic growth or above soon, America’s accumulated federal […]
What if I told you that the march of human progress could be traced in a direct line from the Epicureans of Ancient Greece… through the 18th Century’s cure for smallpox… to where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates found inspiration as scrappy teenagers… to the flying car of tomorrow?Stay with me and I’ll show you […]
Real progress happens through real people, ideas, and innovations. Not by legislation argued and debated in Congress. Right now, one of the most influential technologies is changing the way people do business. And reinventing the future in the process.
Innovation can change the world… if the world lets it. Unfortunately, society’s gatekeepers make it a point to constrain, regulate, and control these ideas. But their power is limited, and the power of innovation is too great. Unfortunately for regulators, there are some technologies they can’t control.
What’s the #1 reason a start-up fails?It runs out of money!And why would it run out of money?Because nobody wants the product it’s selling!For early-stage investors, this presents a bit of a conundrum:If a product doesn’t exist yet, how do you figure out if there’s demand for it?And how do you figure it out before […]
Politicians love raising the minimum wage because they don’t have to ask voters to pay more in taxes. They just dump the costs onto shop owners. But they don’t act like politicians and go into debt to pretend like they have all the money in the world. They face real world situations. And sometimes that means replacing workers with more affordable options...
Regulation is supposed to keep you safe and make the economy function smoothly. At least that’s what they tell you in the news. But there’s another cost to regulation. One that you won’t hear about unless you have to deal with directly. And for the people in the economy who do, they’re the ones who have to pay the final cost.
According to some estimates, one man - whose name you're probably not familiar with - has saved over a billion lives. Who is he? And how has he influenced the current crop of innovators? Josh Grasmick explains...
Biotech breakthroughs and other transformative innovations are a few of the brightly shining spots in the U.S. economy. In fact, Paul Mampilly believes this is the golden age of biotech investing, and that you can earn massive returns while investing in companies with drugs that benefit all of humanity. Read on for his latest example...
Harold Hamm isn’t your typical entrepreneur. His life’s story shows you success in America doesn’t always depend on a fat checkbook
Obama recently claimed this was the “Decade of the Brain”. But it not the first time the government made that promise. The last time they did it, they wasted millions of your tax dollars. Now they’re back for round two. But this time, their failure could mean more than squandered money. It could mean making Alzheimer’s even worse for those who suffer from it.
American ingenuity. It’s the stuff of lore and legend, and it’s what drives the global economy. We literally bank on the next disruptive entrepreneur — and innovative new technology — to completely redefine or create new industries. It’s what America does really well, our goose that continues to lay golden eggs.And yet, maybe not.The truth […]
Why is business so often scapegoated for all the problems of society?
The term scapegoat comes from the Bible and refers to the goat cast out of the community as part of a purification ritual. Perhaps when people saw that lonely goat walk away and probably into its death, it made them feel better about themselves.
Weird, right? We don’t think that way today. Except we do.
The scapegoat since the 2008 financial disaster has been the business sector in general. The anti-capitalist frenzy started with a justified hit on the financial elites who benefitted from the bailouts. But inevitably, public wrath turned against anyone trying to make a buck.
The caricatures have been absolutely brutal. Every corporation is criminal. All rich people are thieves. Wall Street is nothing but a racket. Every entrepreneur is a con man. The driving motivation of all business is greed.
And so it has been for five solid years. The public sentiment has made the whole of commercial society very nervous and paved the way for more government intervention and taxation.
Those who know something about real-life business watch all of this with stunned silence. Are people really all that clueless about how hard it is to make a buck in this world?
It turns out to be very difficult to come up with ideas for goods and services that people will accept in exchange for money. It is even more difficult to take in more money than you spend in order to provide those goods and services. And there’s an even more difficult step: You have to compete with everyone else who is trying to do the same thing. This competition has a tendency to drive whatever fleeting profits you make to zero.
It is a common error to believe that entrepreneurship consists of coming up with one good idea and making one good judgment. Nonsense. Good judgment is a daily requirement. It affects everything you do from product development, research, inventory decisions, and employment to marketing. A bad decision tomorrow can negate all the good decisions of the last month.
Risk is inescapable. You bear it all; the consumers bear very little or none. Then there’s the uncertainty. No one has a crystal ball on what the future looks like. It doesn’t matter how big or how allegedly mighty a business is. It can never escape the curse of the dark glass that clouds the future.
The only way to accomplish this is to be wildly attentive to unmet needs in society, to be super attentive to accounting details, and to always be prepared to improve in your service to others. As for greed, anyone can be possessed by it — rich or poor, public or private — but it makes no real contribution to business success. Ramping up greed only tends to cloud judgment.
The truth is that the commercial life is one of implausible self-sacrifice. It is a life of instability. You never go to sleep at night fully relaxed and you never wake with absolute confidence about what the day will bring. Every day brings changes and events that defy expectations. This tendency instills a level of humility in the commercial world unknown in politics or academia.
But what about the wonderful profits? Well, if they are there at all, which they are not most of the time, the true capitalist is actually rather cautious about how they are used. We often hear about the “profit motive,” but I doubt that this phrase means much at all. Profits are never certain, nor do they last. They can’t be the sole reason that people enter business life.
What function, then, do profits serve? For the entrepreneur and the capitalist, they serve a symbolic value. The signal that the enterprise is on the right track. They are the sign and the seal of a job well done. It’s not about the money as such; the profits are an indicator that helps guide decision-making, ratifying the good steps of the past and pointing toward a possible plan for the future.
Once you begin to understand the real nature of business, you have to wonder: Why the heck does anyone do this? It comes down to a personal passion, the desire to make a difference. It’s a vocation, a calling, a special flame that appears in the hearts of a certain class of persons. It is not universal. But neither it is possible to entirely extinguish.
A free and prosperous society should marvel at the accomplishments of its businessmen and businesswomen. These are true public servants, people who endeavor at great personal sacrifice to drive history forward and grant the human race a greater degree of material prosperity tomorrow than it enjoys today. These are the people who really keep hope alive.
Yet… as if to perform some ancient superstitious ritual, what do we do? We throw a rope around their necks and drag them out to the desert. They are the scapegoats.
It was my rare privilege to catch up with one fascinating young entrepreneur named Trevor Koverko, who is in the early stages of putting together an Internet startup called eprof.com. In this interview, he tells the inside story of the sacrifice, the work, the dream, the disappointments, and the incredible vision that it takes to make something like this happen.
There might come a time when this young man’s website will be as popular as Amazon or PayPal. Becoming just another website that everyone uses and all people take for granted as if it had always been there. No big deal. In the end, it’ll be just another successful business, and surely the entrepreneur behind the thing deserves no special adulation.
Therefore, I present to you what such enterprises look like in their earliest stages. You will appreciate getting a look at what it takes to live this kind of life. I hope you come away from this interview with a great respect for the commercial sector and its contribution to our world.