Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ownership Class 2.0

I am a strong supporter of employees taking the plunge into ownership - either with stock portfolios or running a part-time business or going for it with one's own incorporated/organized company. I myself am doing some of the above. There are ways you can go about learning the ropes:

1. Formal education. In this economy, you'd be fortunate if you are in this situation.

2. Self-help books. They're great for general questions with which you don't want to bother the professionals in your life. They also give you enough context to have intelligent conversations with your lawyer and/or accountant.

3. Following examples. If you trade in publicly-traded companies, it would be a good practice (in most cases) to keep at least one share of a company when you sell. Your broker will often tell you about a company's shareholders' meeting and provide you with proxy statements and annual reports. Of course, you can find this info online for various companies without owning shares, but being invited to the meetings just makes it psychologically extra special to read up on these companies.

4. Going for it. It might be an instinctual drive for all the children of the Earth to just see how far you can go just by adapting to new situations. It has been my experience that a lot of reading leads to a lot of forgetting, and lessons actually stick when learned through mistakes and/or through actually doing stuff...well.

So, again, my friends, do stuff. In this unpredictable economic time, the Madoffs of the world are losing ground, and the most enterprising of underdogs can wind up on top - all this is possible. Here's to Ownership Class 2.0, and may the best and most ethical make it.

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