Tag Archives: howto

Fired on Your Birthday

My daughter heard that a coworker was let go on her 18th birthday.  Her message to me was in ALL CAPS and full of umbrage. The worst was the boss knew it was the kid’s birthday and FIRED HER ANYWAY!!!

That reaction was natural and wonderful. I am so proud of her empathy and humility.

Now, let’s look at the situation. They are all young, casual, employees in retail, customer-service roles. A manager decided a specific employee must be fired and not for theft, fraud or illegal behaviour.

Would it have been better to wait and make the worker come in on another day just to terminate them? Should the manager have made a phone call tomorrow and fire over the phone? What about firing by email or SMS?

Another way I’ve seen this done is merely not roster them for the next few weeks, with a gutless understanding that “they’ll get the message”.

No, there is nothing to be gained from avoiding doing it, in person, as soon as the decision is made. All other options extend the pain and drag the ugly feelings on.

It’s harsh but fairest to get it over with.

I’m sure the Manager took no pleasure in the firing. Managers who don’t feel bad letting someone go need to be fired themselves by their bosses. Managers who cannot feel empathy destroy a business.

And for the record, the Manager did not know it was the former employee’s birthday, but was saddened by the timing and shocked that the rumour-mill works so fast.

Calculate the Beta Coefficient of a stock

Beta CoefficientAs part of the Corporate Finance subject of my MBA we have to calculate the beta coefficient (aka Beta) of a company’s share price. The is applied economics and market mathematics, but it simply is a number which indicates how closely (or not) a company’s share price moves in relation to a broader market (or an index like the S&P ASX200 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average).

Anyway, part of the process is to create an excel format spreadsheet to aid with the calculation. I’ve done it and thought I share it with you. It will work with any spreadsheet program that can open .xls files

Update 1: 31 July 2009 the new version is available for testing by requesting it in a comment below. Once the testing is complete I’ll make it freely available to registered users.

Update 2: 7 July 2011 For a limited time you can get the Beta Coefficient Calculator without registering. Enter a valid email address in this form to receive a link to download the file. You’ll also get an email about new versions and bug fixes (with an opt-out link).

Update 3: 23 July 2011 If the form doesn’t work for you, please comment below and I’ll email it to you. The form is quicker but some people can’t get the download.

Enter your email address to download Beta Coefficient Calculator by Wealth Esteem

Version 0.9 beta_8
* Enabled automatic download via web form
* Added French and German to Translation tab (alpha code there)

Version 0.9 beta_7
* Fixed bug in date text description
* Updated sample data to 6 Jun 2011
* Changed sample data to BHP Billiton
* Made Instructions tab text translatable
* Cosmetic fixes

Version 0.9 beta_6
* Explained Translation tab in instructions and asked for volunteers
* Updated sample data to 2011
* Updated copyright date to 2011

Version 0.9 beta_5
* Added Change Log tab
* Moved text of index symbol & stock symbol to translation tab

Version 0.9 beta_4
* Added explanation of index and stock symbol fields on Beta Coefficient tab
* Updated copyright date to 2010

Version 0.9 beta_3
* Added email address to instructions tab

Version 0.9 beta_2
* Added logic to translate number of periods to a date range and show that range to users in Beta Coefficient tab at C11
* Swapped order of Security and Index tabs
* Fixed bug in coefficient calculation
* Introduced version numbering and control

Version 0.9 beta_1
* Updated instructions tab

Version 0.9 beta
* Initial public version

Support and feedback via the comments below.

MBA Update Month 2

I got my mid-term exam back for Accounting & Financial Management. Despite poor time management in the last third of the exam, I managed to get a Distinction (78%) which is a good result for my first formal study in nearly two decades.

Advice to returning students. Your exam technique will be rusty. Two tips.

Tip #1: Start with the easy/fastest questions if 1/3 of the marks come from an easy section, start there and aim to finish in less than 1/3 of the exam time. That will leave more time for the harder sections.

Top#2: Divide the questions up by the marks they are worth and then divide each part of the question appropriately. I probably lost 7 marks and a High Distinction through spending 20 minutes of my last 30 minutes on only part of one question. Move along and come back later.

My study group finished most of the major assignment today. We’re all very wary of the plagiarism rules, so we have been independently working out the accounting parts of the questions, then double checking calculations and pointing to sample layouts in the course materials. All that is left is to write the descriptive answers on our own.

I did expect the course to be easier, and to have a lot more group discussion & debate. But I’m learning so much. The main reinforcement is that I am not crazy asking my accounting and finance department to provide more analytical data and guidance. I keep hearing that corporate accountants will want or produce things that I don’t think my guys do 😀

I sometimes joke that this course will get me fired.

10 ideas on starting with no job

With damn hard WORK (not JOB) how to go from 0 to 5 investment properties.


  1. it wont happen fast unless you’re lucky – in which case you didn’t need to follow any plan.
  2. You will work harder than anybody with a job to get the same initial results.
  3. I’d guess it will take about 7-14 years
  4. Getting and keeping a job would be easier (but may leave you broke). How many stories have you read that said “bought my first Investment Property then waited X years before I thought of doing it again because work got in the way”
  5. We want this to be legal

So here is the list:

  1. Start earning cash now. That probably means learning how to sell something, anything, anywhere.
    1. self-employment sections of the papers
    2. market stalls
    3. Walk around industrial areas with your eyes open. Has someone got an overstock problem? Ask for a sample and a price. Hit the road.
    4. Ask yourself how can I get something to sell on consignment?
  2. Start small but scale quickly. Turn $5 into $10. Then $20 then $40 then $80 etc.
  3. Learn to fix problems. Look for people with a problem and find a way to make that problem go away. That lets you set your own price that is not tied to time or personal effort.
  4. Focus on cashflow. In the early days do not build a system to sell it. How much am I making per week/month (forget year). e.g. Some retailers break even on trading but make money by selling the business, others make money from day 1 — guess who normally wins in the long run?
  5. Put 5%-20% (say 10%) away for wealth creation. That way you’ll know when you have enough to buy an accumulating asset. That % may be of gross sales or net profit whatever! But put it away out of every deal/week/invoice.
  6. Network. Now. Go out and meet people. Not just your friends. Talk to business people, sales-reps, seminar-junkies, hairdressers, baristas and bar-tenders. Find a 2 sentence intro and ask them questions about themselves. If you can afford internet access you can afford to do a google search on how to network.
  7. Optional. Find a deal that is too good to pass up and the money will appear. This is a fact
  8. Buy an asset (with your own money) that is 80% right as soon as you see it. You won’t find anything perfect and the time you waste getting 95% perfect will cost you 2 deals. The learning experience is worth the mistakes. Remember you created the deposit and you can do it again if you make a mistake.
  9. Did you know that if you had a 34% deposit the money is relatively easy to find?
  10. Once you have an investment system that works for you, leverage it with investors. Realise almost no investor will back your first deal.