A Beautiful Mind

Richard Connor  |  Dec 16, 2021

I STARTED MY CAREER with a little-known engineering company called SAI. It’s now called SAIC, short for Science Applications International Corp., a publicly traded and internationally renowned technology firm. But when I started in 1980, there were only a few thousand employees and several small, independently run offices scattered across the country.
SAI was started in 1969 by Dr. J. Robert Beyster, a nationally recognized expert in nuclear physics and national security. He started the company with the dual tenets of technical excellence and employee ownership.

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Home Alone

Mike Zaccardi  |  Dec 10, 2021

MY YEAR BEGAN WITH a fulltime job at an energy trading company. But I knew my days were numbered. I’d spent six years trading, working with clients and helping to manage risk, all while being surrounded by smart and fun people. But as side gigs, I’d also spent several years writing about finance and teaching as an adjunct professor. Writing became my passion—one that didn’t mesh well with my day job.
That’s how, in January,

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Quitting Retirement

Mike Zaccardi  |  Dec 1, 2021

DRIVING PART of the nation’s labor shortage is a wave of early retirements dubbed the “Great Resignation.” A red-hot housing market and booming stock market have made it financially easier for many to quit traditional nine-to-five employment, as has employers’ embrace of part-time, work-from-home positions. Add to that virus concerns and parents’ difficulty finding child care, and you’ve had a perfect storm for the labor market.
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal,

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Creative Tension

Jim Wasserman  |  Nov 29, 2021

PAUL MCCARTNEY SAYS he originally wrote lyrics to a song that began, “She was just seventeen. Never been a beauty queen.” When he showed it to John Lennon, his writing partner, Lennon roared with laughter and said, “You’re joking.”
Lennon, who was a bit cheekier, then had McCartney change the second line to “you know what I mean” to add a wink-wink-nudge-nudge element. The eventual song, I Saw Her Standing There,

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Sticking Power

Sonja Haggert  |  Nov 29, 2021

MY HUSBAND’S READING material consists of financial publications and Chemical & Engineering News, a throwback to his chemistry education. The other day, I glanced over his shoulder to see an article about Spencer F. Silver.
Never heard of him? No doubt, you’ve used a Post-it Note or two. Silver invented their adhesive while a chemist at 3M.
The article told of his passing, and went into a technical explanation of the science behind the Post-it Note.

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Hopping Around

Mike Zaccardi  |  Nov 24, 2021

THERE’S BEEN MUCH talk in 2021 about the future of work, with a big focus on remote and hybrid office arrangements. But I’m more intrigued by another major trend: job hopping. Each month, labor economists get a fresh read on the pace of hirings, firings and quits. In fact, the “quit rate” has become a household term in 2021, as workers change jobs to snag higher pay.
That got me thinking about conventional personal finance wisdom,

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Investing in Family

Richard Hayman  |  Nov 19, 2021

AS A MEMBER OF THE lucky sperm club, I reluctantly joined my father in business in 1970. I know it was his dream, but it wasn’t mine. He started his cash register business in 1938 and, by the time I signed on, the industry was still steep in mechanical devices. Not my passion. I liked electronics.
Still, I agreed to do things his way and learn the business from the ground up. He said the first thing I had to do was learn to sell.

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Paths to Success

Jim Wasserman  |  Nov 18, 2021

MY FRIEND HAFIZ HAS a common midlife problem. He’s built a successful career over 20 years. But now he wants a change—a new direction to focus his energy and talents. Over coffee, we kicked around the different paths he might take.
Some were offshoots of his current job, such as becoming an industry consultant. Others were wholly new, like becoming a writer.
“The problem,” Hafiz sighed, “is that whatever I do, it’s gotta pay for the country club.”
Hafiz explained that,

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Wrestling for Money

Juan Fourneau  |  Nov 13, 2021

IN THE FALL OF 1994, when I was 21, I made the trip south from Iowa down I-35 to Texas. I was starting my wrestling training on Commerce Street in downtown Dallas at Doug’s Gym.

What I wasn’t expecting were the financial lessons I picked up from some of the colorful professional wrestlers of that era.

Doug’s Gym wasn’t air-conditioned. It had a classic collection of weights and machines. I felt transported back in time,

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Ask and Receive

Mike Zaccardi  |  Nov 7, 2021

OCTOBER’S EMPLOYMENT report was impressive: 531,000 jobs were created, beating economists’ expectations. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.6%, while average hourly earnings increased a solid 0.4% from September.
Across the board, the data from the U.S. labor market show the economy is humming along, with no signs of stagflation. I like to dig into the wage numbers to see which segments of the workforce are enjoying the best pay increases. Leisure and hospitality pay rose the most,

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Meeting Demand

Howard Rohleder  |  Oct 30, 2021

OUR HIGH SCHOOL principal returned from a teacher recruitment fair and announced to the school board, “Tell your children or grandchildren: Do not get a degree in elementary education.” He went to the recruitment fair looking to hire some very specific specialty teachers for the high school. He mostly met new grads with credentials to teach elementary school—who were looking for jobs that simply don’t exist in our region.
Our superintendent explained that our region had several large,

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A Diminished Voice

Ron Wayne  |  Oct 20, 2021

IN 1994, AMERICANS could find out what was going on in their communities by reading one of the 1,534 daily U.S. newspapers. Most of them were published in individual cities and towns where they served subscribers defined by geography, rather than by political persuasion or socio-economic class.
These newspapers were trusted voices. They provided common knowledge and community forums for everyone from bank presidents and doctors to plumbers and teachers.
As of 2018, 255 daily newspapers had stopped publishing,

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Make Your Own Luck

Richard Connor  |  Oct 14, 2021

THERE’S A FAMOUS quote that’s often attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Making your own luck is a concept I’ve long believed in, and have written about before. Clearly, luck plays a role in all human endeavors—finances especially. I’m particularly intrigued by the intersection of luck and hard work. But how exactly can we add to our store of good luck?

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Invest in Your Tribe

John Goodell  |  Oct 12, 2021

WE’VE ALL SEEN the headlines: The tight U.S. labor market has prompted many businesses to increase starting salaries and offer hiring bonuses to new employees. But what about pay increases and bonuses for the workers who stick around, rather than jumping from one job to the next?
Like the employers who neglect loyal workers, many of us make the same mistake as we balance work and family. I’m certainly guilty. Every time I work late or take on a “side hustle,” there’s a tradeoff—less time with my family.

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What They Remember

John Goodell  |  Sep 23, 2021

THERE’S A SAYING in the military: Rank has its privileges. It’s absolutely true. The trappings that accompany the highest military ranks can include aides, personal drivers and even cooks, to name just a few. The best leaders I’ve worked with knew that these trappings were ephemeral and often the result of luck, albeit mixed with hard work and ability.
Not every leader—whether they served in the military, corporate America or elsewhere—understands this. After retirement,

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