Category Archives for "Earn"

Wind Energy: Will It Save the Planet?

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Here’s a transcription of an interview with T. Boone Pickens on wind energy. He’s going to build the biggest wind farm on the planet and it will serve 1.3 million homes, or about the equivalent of 2 nuclear power plants.

All this on a mere 200,000 acres at a cost of $12 Billion…

Will wind power save the planet? No, not by itself, in my humble opinion. But in combination with a lot of other energy-producing technologies, it can help. Our reliance on the dinosaur juice (oil, or fossil fuel) is driving all of us crazy and to the poor house. Plus, in a sick and demented fashion, we’re financing global terrorism (again, IMHO).

Couple wind, solar, clean coal (is there really such a thing?), nuclear power, and conservation, and we’ll be able to kick our addiction to the light, sweet crude.

Is this wind-power thing crazy or is Pickens crazy like a really super-smart fox? He’s also trying to become the world’s largest supplier of another scarce resource (not that wind is scarce, but his other business is oil), water.

Seeing a trend here? The way this man makes money is by using scarce resources like oil and water, and their substitutes, wind and sun (yes, he’s going to build a solar farm, too).

If only I could become a monopolist in air.

Living on Earth: Don’t Mess with Texas Wind

Books I Am Reading

BooksI thought I’d tell you the books I’m reading. What people read tells you a lot about them: Their preferences, interests, hobbies, fantasies.

I tend to read several books at a time. This keeps me interested but it can confuse me 🙂

One book I’m reading now is Thomas Friedman’s Longitudes and Attitudes. It’s a book that chronicles the events leading up to 9/11 and Iraq. But it’s not just about politics and war. It’s about the globalization (read: economics) that has occurred since the Cold War ended and how it has affected the global playing field. Rather than nation-states dictating how the world works, it’s more about how the web created by globalization has empowered individuals and large markets.

Friedman sure knows how to turn a phrase. He’s very good at getting complex points across. I’ve watched him on TV and enjoy him. This is my first read of any of his books.

Another book I’m reading, kind of peacemeal, is The Tom Peters Seminar, which is Peter’s attempt at capturing the content, flavor, and enthusiasm of one of his seminars. There’s a whole lot of information to chew on here. This book is a little long in the tooth, though, having been written in 1994. Some of the companies he highlights for revolutionary change didn’t make out so well in the 2000s.

Nevertheless, the gist of the book, if I had to boil it down into one phrase or sentence, is that the new economy is about YOU, Inc. Become used to having multiple jobs and no security. Become an expert and become a free agent.

Finally, the third book I’m reading right now is not really a book, in that it’s a guide on the web, called The Action Guide. It’s about building a business on the web. I’m using it to build two new sites (in very early development) that I hope to publish this year. The idea behind the Action Guide is that each step of the business you’re building is broken into easily-digestible and actionable chunks. During each step, you build upon what you learned in the previous chunks.

I want to build valuable web properties (hopefully, this is one of them!) and I think this process will help me get there. Take a look at the testimonials. They are what ultimately sold me.

What’s to come? Well, I like re-reading books I’ve read. It’s fun to compare what the author thought might happen with reality. So I think I may re-read The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money for Life.

I’ve mentioned that I’d review those books in the near-future. As sometimes happens in life, the near-future is turning into “next year.” One day, I’ll get to these reviews.

I don’t want to be like the rest of the Personal Finance bloggers who do reviews — they do an excellent job and they (and you!) know who they are. I want to bring my particular viewpoints and opinions to the discussion; I just haven’t made the time to do it yet.

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Lenny Dykstra: Hard As Nails on Field and Off

Lenny DykstraWhen I was a kid, Lenny Dykstra was a baseball phenom. Small, but he could hit like hell and he fielded with reckless abandon. I liked him a lot. Always with that big ole cheek full of chewing tobacco, he epitomized the over-achiever. Turns out, he’s great in business, too.

Brash. Opinionated. Smart. Caring. Those are the words that came to mind when I read this story: The Sporting Scene: Nails Never Fails: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker.

He’s now trying to give back. His biggest endeavor at the moment is creating the Players Club magazine. In it, he hopes to guide athletes down the path of continued riches, rather than down the path many of them seem to take, like Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson.

Even giving back, Dykstra is abrasive. But it works. Tough love? You be the judge. Speaking of pro athletes:

“You’ve got the ten per cent who are going to find their way no matter what,” Dykstra said of the athlete population. “And you get the ten per cent that are f—heads no matter what—we’ll paste an ‘L’ to ’em.” The rest need guidance, and Dykstra, who will write a regular column called “The Game of Life,” is prepared to give it. “This will be the world’s best magazine,” he said.

Give ’em hell, Lenny!

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Kids and Money: Best Posts, 7 of 7 Working Kids

Kids and MoneyChief Family Officer submitted a post about children and employment rules, which is something we tend to forget about.

When I was a kid, my parents did not push me to get a job. Rather, they encouraged me to do well in school, and they never told me not to work. So, of course, like many of my peers, I got a job.

Since I was good at math, I was a natural for the football concession stand (run by my math teacher). I think I made $3.35 per hour, which was California’s minimum wage at the time. It’s strange how much money I had then; I felt rich. Now, making a lot more per hour, I feel adequate.

Kids should not feel compelled to go to work when they’re young; I think this is why I took to hard work at an early age. There wasn’t any pressure. Sometimes that’s better than anything else.

Years later, I was on the employing end of the equation, where I was hiring and mentoring 16 and 17 year olds. It became imminently important to follow the rules of the state and school; break one and you could seriously imperil your ability to stay open!

As CFO points out, the federal government has some good resources to help out the aspiring teen worker and employer alike. One of the best sources is Youth Rules.

It is in your best interest to get to know these.

Chief Family Officer: Do your kids want to work this summer?

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Kids & Money: Best Posts, 4 of 7 Affording College

student loan debtIt used to be that those who could afford to go to college did, and those who didn’t have the funds didn’t. But the prevalence of student loans has made that a moot point. Now, the question is, “How can you afford NOT to go to college?”

Still, attending college is expensive. Tuition, books, and room and boarding are the big 3. Attending even a public university can cost well over $10,000 a year because rent and food is expensive.

Uncle Leo Rumbles presents the case of borrowing less to pay for college. Rather than going to an Ivy League school and incurring massive amounts of student loan debt, he suggests that you consider a public university (I offer one better: Community college for the first 2 years). You’ll come out with less than half the debt and you’ll be positioned just as well in the job market. He says,

There isn’t much of a relationship between the college or university a person attends and that person’s career success later in life. How hard and effectively you work is much more important to your career success than the sheepskin hanging on your office wall. A CEO of an S&P 500 company is much more likely to have a college degree from a public university than an elite private college. One public school, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, can count as many or more S&P 500 CEOs among its alumni as any Ivy League or other elite private college. And it’s quite a bit less expensive, even if you’re paying out of state tuition.

This is so true. Getting a college degree shows that you have the mental fortitude to set a goal and strive to reach it. It’s less about where you go.

This is a very good article with lots of helpful suggestions.

Uncle Leo Rumbles: Borrow Less to Pay for College

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