Review of Starbucked by Taylor Clark

“A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture” just about sums up this book. Starbucked is a short read that is pretty entertaining if you like coffee or business or culture and just want the 30,000 foot view with some interesting and entertaining stories. The history and astounding growth of Starbucks is quite interesting, as are the stories about the history of coffee and the culture surrounding all of them. I recommend this as a quick read but not as highly as some of the previous books I have just reviewed.

Tim Ferro

The Price of Owning Stocks

I spent an hour or so Sunday night reading three very important documents instead of watching part of the Pro-Bowl. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, but my financial future is more important, and so is yours. The three documents were: Verizon’s 8-K filing, Verizon’s press release about the 8-K filing, and the transcript of Verizon’s earnings conference call. These three documents tell me everything I need to know about Verizon’s future to make an informed decision about owning their stock.

When you own stock in a company, you should be doing your due diligence as an investor to keep up with SEC filings, conference call transcripts, and general information from the internet. Jim Cramer recommends “an hour a week” per stock and I completely agree. It is much more labor intensive to own stocks than it is to own mutual or index funds, but the rewards are far greater. If you had invested in an S&P 500 index fund 10 years ago, you would have lost 19.92% of your money. Owning stocks and doing the necessary research will put you in the financial driver’s seat.

If you are not committed to checking your stocks every day for prices and news, then don’t buy them. If you are not willing to read every 8-K, 10-K, and 10-Q, then don’t buy them. If you are willing to do that work as well as read some financial books and sometimes watch Mad Money, then you are ready to start investing in your future.

Disclosure: Long Verizon (VZ)

Tim Ferro

Gen Y, I’ll Be Your Mentor

As an older member of Gen Y, I know that I have a wealth of knowledge to impart to my younger generational brethren. I help out as a “coach” to potential new hires at my company where I talk to them about the firm or give interview advice. On a larger scale for the past 4 years I have been guest lecturing at Penn State University where I always try to give real world honest advice. I talk about being a professional, dealing with office politics, minding one’s personal appearance and online brand, and most relevant to seniors… how to get a job in today’s market. The last few lectures I was able to give a plug to Brazen Careerist, both the book and website. I listed the book on my Top 5 list to read and the website in my Top 5 to join to aid in their job search. Beyond my excellent experience with Brazen, I have a ton of experience and I am more than happy to share that with anyone who wants to listen and chat. I would love to, one day, be paid to lecture at colleges but for now I am available pro bono. I have an idea for a business called “Cup of Coffee Consulting” where my advice and time are free for the duration of one cup of coffee. How does this sound as a starting point? What advice do you have for me? Who wants to be my first client?

Tim Ferro