Monday, April 26, 2010


The subject heading persuasion
is one of the deep arts of advertising, selling, public speaking and marketing. Spend some time with these books if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Forbes's 100 Most Trustworthy Companies

Here's an interesting list: Forbes's annual ranking of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.

To make this list, the company had to meet standards of accounting openness and adherence to conservative (i.e. reality-based) accounting standards.

In an ethically and reality-challenged world where companies' financial statements are often, er,'s good to know.

Yup, Bed Bath and Beyond topped the list of large cap companies.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Electrical Grid in Texas

Slate's Big Money writes about Texas's resilient economy. The writer cites the abundance of land, state regulations that curtail home equity loans, Texas's strength as an exporter and - most interestingly - Texas's independent electrical grid that allows the economic use of wind energy.

An excerpt:

"...The state has its own electricity grid, which is not connected to neighboring states. That has allowed it to move swiftly and decisively in deregulating power markets, building new transmission lines, and pursuing alternative sources. "We can build transmission lines without federal jurisdiction and without consulting other states," said Paul Sadler, executive director of the Austin-based Wind Coalition. Ramping up wind power nationally would require connecting energy fields—the windswept, sparsely populated plains—to population centers on the coasts and in the Midwest. Texas' grid already connects the plains of West Texas with consumers in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fastest Growing Occupations

Here's a list of the fastest growing occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Annual Reports Can Be A SWOT Source

What if your company doesn't have a prepackaged SWOT?  You can use your own noggin and create one yourself (get used to doing this).


The companies themselves will address these concerns in their annual report. This is usually done in their 10-K section 1A (Risk Factors). There is no uniform presentation; the company will list potential adverse scenarios to its profitability (threats and weaknesses), as well as its market strategy and assumptions (strengths and opportunities). They will continue to address these points throughout the rest of the 10-K.

So, if your company is publicly traded check out their annual report. Annual reports are available on the company's internet site, through Mergent or the SEC's Edgar database.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How Texas Avoided the Real Estate Meltdown

Less than 6% of Texas mortgages are in foreclosure: the national average is 10%. 19% of Texas subprime loans were bust - almost the lowest rate in the country (numbers taken from the article linked below)

True, Texas is relatively unscathed by the recent economic troubles. But what's really interesting is the WHY of how most mortgage holders stayed solvent.

According to this article in Slate, it has to do with sane state government regulation of cash-out and home equity loans. You can't borrow crazy amounts of money against your home equity.

In fact, this provision is in the state constitution.

Aw, who are we kidding. The answer is we have Chuck Norris!