Thank You, Joe “JJ” Kinahan

April 19, 2017

Joe “JJ” Kinahan, Chief Market Strategist and Managing Director at Ameritrade Client Services; Latha Ramchand, Dean of the C. T. Bauer College of Business; and John Lopez, Bauer College Clinical Assistant Professor of Finance gather for a photo before the college’s 2017 Financial Symposium. See more photos on WhereAwesomeHappens.com.

On Saturday, April 8, Bauer College hosted our annual Financial Symposium open to students, faculty, staff and the community. The symposium is meant to provide UH students and the Houston community information on topics that will help them make better financial decisions. Students also listen to experts talk about careers in financial services, including commercial banking, financial analysis and personal financial planning. The goal of the symposium is to take learning to the community in ways that make a difference.

Consider the facts:

Today, only 13% of all private-sector workers have a traditional pension, compared with 38% in 1979, and close to 45% of Americans have nothing saved for retirement. More than 30 million people don’t have access to any retirement plan because the small businesses that they work for don’t provide one.

Clearly, we can and must do better.

At Bauer College, we take the message of financial literacy seriously. We need to share the message and share it often. In many ways, the actionable part of financial literacy has to do as much with discipline as it does with finance. As with any behavior, those that enforce discipline in our expenditure and savings plans are best taught early in life. It is for this reason that Bauer College makes every effort to share this message with students and with the community.

This year the keynote speaker at the Financial Symposium was Joe “JJ” Kinahan (@TDAJJKinahan), Chief Market Strategist and Managing Director at Ameritrade Client Services. He took this message one step further by connecting the message of financial literacy to a strong work ethic and character.

Work hard, for there is no substitute. Every job has parts that are frustrating. A typical job might have 25% that we absolutely enjoy and are engaged in, another 25% that we abhor, leaving the middle 50% in a neutral zone that we are neither excited about nor disgusted with. Success results when we move this middle 50% into the more exciting zone, leading us to love 75% of what we do. Plan the 25% that is frustrating and everything else will seem exciting. In everything you do, character matters.  Not doing the right thing has financial implications.  Your behavior builds reputation, and reputation is your biggest asset.

As you build your reputation, consider building your financial asset base as well — when you start working, make sure you maximize the contribution to your 401(K) or retirement plan.  Starting early, and leveraging your employer’s contribution, can boost your total returns more than starting late and investing more for a shorter length of time. As they often say, when it comes to investment and maximizing returns, it is time, not timing. Time is your biggest ally when it comes to investment and returns. Timing assumes perfect foresight which is a fiction of the imagination.

At the same time, have fun. It is important that you love and enjoy what you do.

JJ Kinahan is a 30-year trading veteran who began his career as a Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) market maker trading in the S&P 100 (OEX) and S&P 500 (SPX) pits. He also worked for ING Bank, Blue Capital and was Managing Director of Option Trading for Van Der Moolen, USA. Later in his career he joined the thinkorswim Group, which was eventually acquired by TD Ameritrade.

Thank you, JJ — thank you for inspiring us.


International Women’s Day

March 8, 2016

SymbolToday is International Women’s Day. So, is there an International Men’s Day?

Numbers explain why.

Today, more than 50 percent of individuals graduating with a master’s degree are women, yet 5 and 10 years into their working careers, compensation levels for women lag those for men.

Only a handful of Fortune 500 companies are led by women (around 5 percent) and less than 20 percent have female representation on boards.

Economists estimate that eliminating the gap between male and female employment could boost GDP in the U.S. by 5 percent, in Japan by 9 percent and in Egypt by 34 percent. When combined with the fact that women are more likely to invest their wealth in education and health for their children, female employment and wage equality can, and will, impact economic development in a broader sense.
Yet, women are struggling to catch up.

Conferences, symposia and keynotes that speak loudly about the lack of diversity, abound.

Let’s act.

Let’s hold ourselves accountable.

So, today I pledge (I will keep you posted):

I pledge to sponsor a woman on my team and help her realize her professional aspirations.

What about you?


Recent Thoughts on Emerging Markets, Talent and Diversity

March 7, 2016

Globe

I thought I’d share with you three things I’ve learned in the last week.

Emerging is trending.

In 1980, emerging market economies accounted for 21 percent of global revenue. By 2013, this proportion had almost doubled to 41 percent. By 2025, we expect more than 45 percent of Fortune Global 500 companies to be from emerging markets.

The war for talent intensifies.

There is a global generation gap. Today, the median age is over 46 in Germany and over 36 in the U.S. On the other hand, it is 27 in India and 18 in Nigeria. This gap will lead to global migration with aging societies in the developed world competing for talent from the emerging markets. In short, it will become imperative for businesses in developed markets to adopt a global, not local, mindset. An inclusive culture and flexibility in the workplace will be the currency of choice. If you want to move ahead, be willing to compete for talent.

Diversity is a business imperative.

A recent survey by Ernst & Young reports that almost 9 out of 10 companies surveyed believe that the problems confronting them are so complex that teams are essential in creating solutions. Too, companies with diverse teams (both in terms of their backgrounds and geographies) experience higher EBITDA growth.