Lessons From Inside the Shark Tank


“Shark Tank” (Dragon’s Den for my Canadian friends) is an ABC reality show that features a panel of billionaire investors (“sharks”) who are willing to invest their own money into businesses and ideas pitched to them by aspiring entrepreneurs. The Sharks are: Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and software/media billionaire. Daymond John, the founder of the FUBU clothing brand. Kevin O’leary who founded “The Learning Company” and later sold it to Mattel. Barbara Corcoran a Manhattan real estate mogul, and Robert Herjavec. Who, honestly, I’ve never heard of before the show. One by one entrepreneurs are led into the shark tank to be grilled by the sharks. Some stand up to the fire and walk away with a hefty investment and new business partner. Others wilt under the pressure and get sent back from whence they came. I’ve been a huge fan of the show since I started watching in the first … Continue reading

Investing Basics: Market Cap


Market Cap (short for “market capitalization”) is one of the most widely used terms you’ll hear when stocks are being discussed. Open your favorite finance website or turn on the financial news and you wont be able to escape it. Yet many beginning investors don’t exactly know what market cap is, or why it’s important to their portfolios.   Definition Market cap is simply the value of all of a company’s outstanding shares of stock. To put it another way, market cap is the price you would have to pay to buy every share of outstanding stock in a company. You can calculate a company’s market cap by multiplying its share price by the total number of shares.  Using the example of Exxon Mobil from above you’d multiply $86.31 x 4.71 billion to get its market cap of 406 billion.   Importance of Market Cap Market capitalization is such an … Continue reading

Why I Don’t Want A Big Tax Refund (and Neither Should You!)

tax returns, tax refund, tax preparing, tax return, federal taxes, irs

If you’re like the average American you’ll be getting a tax refund check for just under $3000 this year. For many people getting that big tax refund is the highlight of their year! I can understand where the feeling comes from. Let’s face it, it’s not often we receive money from the government. But what too many people don’t realize is that getting a big tax refund check each year isn’t a good thing. Here’s why… Can I Borrow Some Money? “Please? Just loan me $3000 and I’ll pay you back next April, I promise!” If one of your friends came up to you and asked that question, what would your response be? You’d probably tell them to get lost, in no uncertain terms. But by getting that big tax refund check from Uncle Sam each spring, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re giving the federal (and/or state) government an interest free 12 month … Continue reading

Investing Basics: Earnings Per Share (EPS)

In my first post on investing basics I explained the P/E Ratio and how it’s used to help determine if a stock is a good buy or not. Based upon some feedback received from that article, I guess I should have started this series off with what I’m going to write about today: Earnings Per Share (EPS). Definition Earnings Per Share is one of the most widely used statistics to value a stock. It’s also one of the most important. Simply put, a company’s earnings per share reflect the portion of a company’s profit allocated across each share of stock outstanding. It’s a quick and reliable indicator of just how profitable a company is. This is obviously important information because generally the more profitable company is, the more attractive it is as an investment. Calculated Earnings per share is calculated as Net Income divided by total shares outstanding. Earnings Per Share … Continue reading

Book Review – How To Win At The Sport Of Business By Mark Cuban

  I just finished reading Mark Cuban’s new E-Book “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It”. The book is essentially a collection of some of the best blog posts from Cuban’s blog, which he as put together in E-Book form and put up for sale for $2.99. Personally, I’m a huge Mark Cuban fan and happily paid 3 dollars for the book. The book is a quick, easy read full of no-nonsense life and career advice founded in Cuban’s own experiences on his rise to the top of the business world. Top Quotes/Takeaways “Its Easy to know if you’re in the right job. If it matters what you get paid, you’re not in a job you really love.” – A reoccurring theme throughout the book is that if you really want to  make it as an entrepreneur you should be willing to live like a broke … Continue reading

Weekend Reading – Roth IRA Movement

In case you missed it: This past week finance bloggers from all over took part in the Roth IRA Movement. Hundreds of bloggers took part, each posting an original article to educate and inform the masses about Roth IRA’s. You can read my contribution to the Roth IRA Movement here.  Here is the full list or participating bloggers. Take some time out of your weekend and read as many of these as you can! Good Financial Cents: Roth IRA Account Movement (this is from Jeff Rose who started the whole Roth IRA Movement) The Slott Report: The Younger, The Richer: Start Saving Early with Roth IRA Money Ning: Tax Free Growth – Why So Many Love the Roth IRA Liz Weston: Young and Broke? Open a Roth IRA USAA (Scott Halliwell): Roth IRAs: DIY Tax Control USAA (JJ Montanaro): Support Your Local Roth Movement Money Crashers: What Is a Roth IRA … Continue reading