Tag Archives: Research

What Fantasy-Football and Stock-Investing Have in Common

TouchdownAcross many computers, websites, and smartphones there are millions engaged in last-minute rituals of tweaking fantasy football rosters for gameday. Admittedly, I am one of them.

It is an activity only recently I call a hobby, in small part, due to embarrassment; the other, due to a real passion for winning despite its fanciful ways. Unlike arts and crafts that are relaxing and even therapeutic, the task of managing a fantasy football team can be mentally exhausting, layered with high risks and rewards: From looking at the injury status lists, making game-time decisions, and ‘pooling’ free agents in hopes of getting more points.

I thought about how ‘fantasy skills’ could transfer in ‘real life’ actions.  In truth, I think being a fantasy league player, coach, and owner is quite the same as being a stock investor , securities trader, or portfolio manager. 

For example, researching company’s ‘ticker’ symbols for making profitable returns is similar to a fantasy owner looking at icons for winning games.

So I encourage fellow fantasy players to start stock investing too.
We see commercials from Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and TRowePrice and think we need tons of cash to make even more money. Unfortunately, starting with $10,000 accounts simply take some of us “out of the game.”

However, there are a few sites that you can invest as low as $10 a month. I’m not talking specifically about a 401K plan or the IRA (Individual Retirement Account) variety, although these may be helpful as well.

Time for a DISCLAIMER: I’m not an investment consultant or advisor, so you might consider talking to a professional before you act on my advice. But if you are a fantasy league owner, I’m confident you will learn a lot just by checking it out yourself.

These investment sites allow you to forego using a broker and discover how to invest directly:

Computershare:  https://www-us.computershare.com/investor/default.asp?cc=us&lang=en&bhjs=1&fla=1&theme=cpu

BNY Mellon Shareowner: https://m1.melloninvestor.com/mellonone/index.jsp

Some other helpful resources and associations:

Drip Investor:  http://www.dripinvestor.com/index.asp

The American Association of Individual Investors: http://www.aaii.com/

Again, these are opportunities to invest in companies directly and take control of your money as you do your fantasy football team. There are thousands of companies to choose from that ranges from the popular to the less publicized. Of course I wouldn’t tell you which companies to invest, just like I wouldn’t tell you my ‘watch-list’ of fantasy football players.

The point here is that although some may look at fantasy football owners as unproductive, I think you might find stock investing not only as a way to make real money, but also just as rewarding and fun as our Football Sundays.


Job or Journey: Making the Choice of Learning

 In our current times of higher unemployment, we are faced to make decisions about the future. Almost five years ago, over 25% of adults participated in formal work-related courses*.  This is the highest concentration as opposed to participating in personal interest or college courses. *National Center of Education Statistics 04-05 http://nces.ed.gov

Workers People

2010 © Iryna Kurhan. Image from BigStockPhoto.com

What’s interesting about this now is would the current data reflect a decline in adults participating in work related courses?  Or will there be an increase in college courses or personal interest, since those unemployed may have more time to pursue other needs.

Regardless of the statistics, there is a viable opportunity for corporations, and any other learning organizations or institutions.  In my view, the adult may no longer have a choice between learning for work, school, or personal interest, but are forced to combine all three. Producers of courses may want to revise their curriculum that is more comprehensive to current employees or students that address the whole person. 

This is also an opportunity for the learners themselves.  Instead of learning for a job, which is insecure in our times, start learning how to create a vocation based on a sober assessment of skills, talents, and passion, instead of a list of competencies or even prior experience. 

In our darkest cloud, there is still hope for sunshine; and even if it rains, it washes us for a clearer view ahead.  Today, we will all be faced with making choices in learning, what will be yours?

Self-Directed Learning in the Sunshine State

Name TagI’m attending the 24th International Self-Directed Learning Symposium in Cocoa Beach, Florida and ON DAY ONE , I wanted to report a few thoughts while it’s fresh.  The symposium is presented by the International Society for Self-Directed Learning www.sdlglobal.com founded by Huey B. Long, who is an author of over 700 articles, books, and book chapters on a variety of topics including self-directed learners. Some other major thinkers in the field who are present: Roger Hiemstra, Ralph Brockett, and Lucy Guglielmino (pronounced goo-yell-me-no, she told me directly!)  

Self-directed learning (SDL) is basically where the learner is “in the driver’s seat” relating to his/her education and exploring options based on personal interests. 

I would argue that self-directed learning is an approach and a subset of the larger field of continuing education. (If you take continuing education to mean both formal and informal learning.)

So, SDL is rooted in a motivation to learn wherever and whenever; at home, school, work, etc.  Today, professional fields such as human resources, business, and even the medical field, are trying to find ways that encourages learners to be more self-directed. These activities go beyond the required instruction directed from a teacher, trainer, and lecturer or mandated by an administration, educational board, or executive leadership. 

One question that interests me: How to promote self-directed learning beyond the individual that is inclusive, interactive, and social in our global and connected world?  Just food for thought…