Category Archives: Financial

Computing Percent Differences

I have recently been computing a lot of percentage differences – mainly in variance calculations. I have been using the formula that I was taught in 7th grade and recently discovered that this formula fails miserably when dealing with negative quantities – I had never considered what happens when the O variable is negative. Continue reading

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Retirement Planning Spreadsheet

As I thought about it, people really need a spreadsheet that will allow them to try different retirement options – I have not been happy with any of the web-based retirement planners that I have worked with. Continue reading

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Dimensional Analysis and Accounting

It has been reported that 90% of spreadsheets have serious errors (source). These errors occasionally are large enough that they have international implications (e.g. London Whale). In my small part of the world, one small company I worked at had an error in a cost estimation spreadsheet that cost it hundreds thousands of dollars on one contract. This caused that company great hardship. Continue reading

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Retirement Savings Rules of Thumb

I have had a number of posts recently on saving for retirement. These posts ALWAYS follow discussions I have had with my family on the importance of starting to invest early – both for retirement and general financial health. I do not want my family members to get to retirement without an investment portfolio (Figure 1), a situation that I have seen and is not pretty. Continue reading

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Snowballs and Investing

Because I am an annoying father who wants to encourage his sons to invest, one of the things I like to collect on this blog are stories of successful, long-term, investors. I loved this story about a janitor, Ronald Read (Figure 1), who recently died at 92 and left an estate worth nearly $8 million dollars. Continue reading

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Income Inequality and the Gini Coefficient

Quote of the Day The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. — Dwight Whitney Morrow Introduction I recently have been hearing politicians lamenting the growth of income inequality in the United States. … Continue reading

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Excel Compound Interest with Graphic Example

Quote of the Day You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures. — Charles C. Noble I was reading this article on the importance of young people understanding compound interest. The meat … Continue reading

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Using an Excel Calculated Item to Breakout Vacation Time

In the fiber optic business, there are always more potential projects than we can execute, and we choose those projects we staff based on their Return On Investment (ROI). To generate these ROI analyses, I have to generate preliminary schedules … Continue reading

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Benjamin Franklin's Long Term Financial Planning

Quote of the Day The secret of joy in work is contained in one word -- excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. — Pearl Buck Today, my youngest son and I were talking about … Continue reading

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Conversion Cost Mathematics in Mathcad

Introduction Normally, I use Excel for analyzing financial data. Today, I encountered a financial problem for which Mathcad seemed  appropriate-- there was a bit of algebra involved. Let's see what you think ... Background Before I can state my problem, … Continue reading

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