Conquering Your Financial Empire

Tale of Tails: Why Small Business Works

Published April 3, 2017 in Small Business - 2 Comments

I was getting ready for work one morning and peered into my dog’s cage – as I always do – and something caught my attention.  Something that I’ve seen a hundred times and never paid any mind.  There they lay, sleeping soundly: one on a large bed, the other on a mish-mash of blankets and propping his head up with a small, hamburger pillow mashed between his gigantic paws.  My two dogs, cozily asleep, held the key to why small business works!

Hear me out.  Just because I get up at 4:00AM doesn’t mean this was a sleep-riddled thought of a brain struggling to work.  I have two dogs.  One is a medium sized yellow lab mix who occasionally responds to the name of Bran (that’s pronounced like Brawn).  He’s about 45 pounds. The other is a small Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix named Sceolan (pronounced Shkeeolan).  He steps to the plate at a whopping 15 pounds.  As you can probably guess, Sceolan gets the big bed; Bran gets the scraps.  When Sceolan growls, Bran moves.  When they wrestle, Sceolan wins.  The only time Bran comes out on top is when I accidentally drop some food on the ground and he evolves into the Hungry, Hungry Hippo and swallows everything in his path.  Some things just aren’t worth fighting for.

The point remains though.  Sceolan embodies why a small business stand up to big business (or an entrenched competitor).  Even in a difficult environment, the little guy can win.  It just takes some grit and determination.  Continue reading

Bologna: The Deli Meat That Could

Published April 1, 2017 in Policy Analysis - 4 Comments
April Fool's Day 2017

Today, I’d like to mix it up a bit and tell you all about something dear to me.  Being the Cash Flow Celt, it’s not strange idea that I’m very frugal.  With the every rising costs of food, I’m always looking for great ways to eat cheap.  Enter the man, the myth, the legend…Mr. Bologna Sandwich

Due to the variation of bologna around the world, as well as its versatility, I wanted to take a moment and sing the praises of the unsung hero.  The mystery meat gets a lot of flak, but stands strong as the fourth most popular lunch meat garnering 10% of all deli meat sales.  Ham and Turkey make up 59% of all total sales. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day 2017: Pick-up Lines for Champions

Published February 14, 2017 in Policy Analysis - 0 Comments

I promised you all an extra post for Valentine’s Day in my last article.  I’m nothing if not a man of my word.

So, in tune for our special, sappy holiday I’d like to present you some pick-up lines.  Not just ANY pick-up lines of course.  These are special.  They’re all finance and economics related!  Use these on any lovely lady you find and you’re sure to shoot above your production possibilities curve!  Most of these are written by yours truly.  A couple of been rehashed through the years.

….On another note, if you end up slapped or cold and wet due to the use of the lines, I am in no way responsible.  I’m blaming your delivery – these are golden.

Let me know what you think of ‘em!

Econ Pick-up Lines

  1. In a closed system of me and you, we’ll have to increase our unemployment targets. We’re about to introduce some friction in the economy.
  2. Love is a highly inefficient marketplace; equilibrium never intrudes. Well, we have no shortages in our market even with my price floor set on loving you.
  3. X Marx the spot, Cupid must have got me in his view. I’d like to get more than just Das Kapital invested in you.
  4. Don’t look to the Fed ‘cause this inflation won’t quit. We’re on the Road to Serfdom; my interest in you is at 100%
  5. I could think of baskets of X* and Y* all day, but I’m indifferent to them all because I still end up with U*
  6. Dang girl, the way you looking my demand is inelastic. I’ll pay any price you charge ‘cause you lookin’ fantastic.
  7. Compared to other men I’m the wealthiest of all and by more than a small sum. You can tell Lorenz you broke the curve ‘cause you keep my Gini at 1.
  8. You look great; getting ready must be a labor of love. Supply curves aren’t the only thing bending backwards for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Albert Gallatin and his Influence on America

Published February 12, 2017 in Government - 1 Comment

History has always been a fascination of mine.   It’s probably no surprise then that the history of money, and all things pertaining to it, would also interest me.  I’ve read about the Federal Reserve, and the rise of fractional banking, and the legal differences between banking regulations; heck I’ve read about just the general history of money starting with seashells in China to the import of a uniform alphabet – thank you Phoenicians – to ease the burden of foreign trade.  However, the one thing that has always been of utmost interest is the history of people in money.  Everybody knows the Barons of Bank: Alexander Hamilton, David Ricardo, the Medici family and Henry Thornton.  They’re all well-known names.  Despite escaping public familiarity (at least for finance that is) Albert Gallatin is still one of my favorite biographies.

Gallatin was a Swiss immigrant born in Geneva, Switzerland who emigrated at 19 years old.  Even though he had secured a recommendation from Benjamin Franklin, Gallatin floundered as a businessman in Maine.  After just two years he sent word back home to tell them of his troubles.  His family, anticipating his letter, had already secured another recommendation from Dr. Samuel Cooper – Cooper was the minister of a parish attended by a who’s who list of American Revolutionaries and also an alumnus of Harvard College.  Cooper secured Gallatin a professorship to teach French at Harvard University in 1782.  I’ve always chuckled at Gallatin’s turmoil at the beginning of his American life.

He struggled along for quite a few years; yet, he turned out to be one of America’s top negotiators and diplomats as well as an astute banker (albeit terrible businessman).  Given his struggles, there is simply no way for him to have predicted the importance he would have in American history. Continue reading

Attitude is Everything – Change in 2017

Published January 9, 2017 in Career - 1 Comment
Attitude is What YOU Make it

There is a catchphrase that tends to reemerge every year from its digital coffin.  At its core, it’s just another ‘attitude is everything’ phrases that tries to amp you up.  Well, this year it worked on me.  “Don’t Quit Your Daydream” is the particular phrase I’m talking about.  From what I can tell, it started back in 2009 as an Indie film that did surprisingly well; however, in 2012 the self-help industry picked it up and ran away (probably to the bank) with it.

The phrase caught me this year because I’ve been looking into the Celtic Crystal Ball and future-gazing a lot recently.  I’ve got a plethora of calculated risks that I’ll be taking later this year that will dramatically affect my life.  My attitude on life has changed because of those risks.  I’ve got to stay dedicated and motivated if I expect to succeed. Continue reading

2017 Checklist for a Happy Wallet

Published January 1, 2017 in Budget , Career - 4 Comments

As we ponder the auld lang syne of 2016 and begin the entry into 2017, I’m forced to realize that I’ve been blogging for 9 months.  Amidst the craziness of a full-time job and blog writing, I’ve added a new job (I’m a Realtor!), the purchase of a home, and two puppies to the mix!  I’ve been engaged in life to say the least.  The year has been a roller coaster.  It’s up and down, happy and sad, but at the end of the ride, I can still say I had fun!  As far as the Celt family, we remain intact.  Lady Celt hit a large goal for weight loss, and the Mini-Celt (who now sports a new Mini-Kilt) has grown exponentially – both physically and mentally.

Entering 2017, I would be remiss to not give you all some savvy tips for a New Year, New You.  This past year I’ve regaled you all with topics of retirement plans, and identity theft; making a car budget and various treats of real estate.  Let’s see if I just can’t wrap it all up with a nice big tartan bow!

Read on to learn how you can make 2017 your best year for finances yet! Continue reading

Identity Theft – Awareness is Safety

Published December 19, 2016 in Credit , Policy Analysis - 2 Comments
Staying Safe Online Requires Virtual Awareness

It’s December and that means the holiday season.  A season where happiness reigns for a brief moment, and neighbors get along a smidge better.  It’s also the season of giving and being thankful for what you have.  Just be careful not to give away too much.  December is the Identity Theft and Awareness month after all.

In my last article I talked about how to take care of your finances once your identity has been compromised.  Knowing how to repair a hole in the ship is all well and good.  However, the best way to keep smooth sailing through life is to avoid the hole-making object in the first place!  That’s why I would like to share a few tips and tricks to keeping your identity safe.  The best way to do that is by maintaining awareness of the crime! Continue reading

Identity Theft: The Unwelcome Holiday Guest

Published November 28, 2016 in Credit - 2 Comments
Causes of Identity Theft

Now that the Celtic family are coming back from their trip to Phan for the Thanksgiving week, it’s officially holiday season!  I’ve always loved the holidays.  I know a lot of people don’t have good childhood memories and I feel bad for them, because my memories have always been great.  To those people, I say try something different!  Your past does not create your future, try different methods to get different results.

The one thing that can always ruin a holiday – even mine – would be identity theft.  December is Identity Theft Awareness and Prevention month, so I figured an article detailing those “oh crap” twilight hours would be helpful for my readers.  The holidays are a busy time for most people.  This should be a helpful resource to refer back to so you can expedite the recovery process and get back to what really matters. Continue reading

Single Payer Healthcare and the Repeal of Obamacare

Published November 14, 2016 in Government , Policy Analysis - 1 Comment
Would a Single Payer System Make Pills Cheaper?

Trump is the president of the United States.  I’ll add that to the list of “Things I thought I’d Never Say”.  Now that it has happened I’d like to say a few things without getting too into the weeds of political debauchery.  I didn’t vote for him, but I will stand behind him.  That said, I absolutely understand the fears of all the minorities that he openly degraded and threatened – I stand behind them too.  I will call out any attacks I see on people through a Trump presidency.  At this point though, he hasn’t done anything except rhetoric.  At this point he’s not a bad president.  I’m willing to give him benefit of the doubt to see what happens.  He has already changed his view on repealing Obamacare.  Perhaps he can change his mind on other things too.  Maybe he will be more pragmatic than people believed; just as Obama was more pragmatic than his idealistic campaign set out.

There.  Now back onto some sweet, sweet finance!  On topic though, I’d like to talk about Obamacare and why I fear what Trump may do to our healthcare system.  I am going to take a direct positional stance on how I feel healthcare should be run.  Many of you may disagree – I welcome that – and if that’s the case, let me know in the comments.  Continue reading

The Fitbit Headache – Making Whiskey Sour with Lemons

Published November 8, 2016 in Stocks - 1 Comment
Bridge Closed to Fitbit wealth

I have a headache.  It’s been constant for about 10 months now.  The bright side, I know exactly what’s causing it.  The bad news is that I can’t pull the trigger to get rid of it.  The source of my nagging condition is, none other, then Fitbit’s stock price.

I bought Fitbit stock back in January at $21.91 a share.  I only bought it because I was bullish on the wearables market and Fitbit was the big guy on campus.  At the time, they had no debt to speak of and owned the market share.  They had also gotten over their IPO volatility period.  I was super confident about this stock and had set myself a price target of $27.  For the record, at the time, most of the major investment funds were targeting around $32-34.

Just so we’re clear: I still own stock in Fitbit.  This is not an advertisement.  This is a lesson about the marketplace. Continue reading

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