Friday, December 19, 2014

A Forbidden Land

I think a lot of people were eager to see the new movie (that was supposed to come out), The Interview, Starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. The movie's basic plot line was that the two protagonists, Rogen and Franco, were to go to The People's Republic of North Korea to interview the leader of the nation, Kim Jong-Un, because the leader was a fan of the work of the two men. However, there was an alternate plan in which the two were to assassinate the leader.

In short, the North Koreans did not take this as a light joke, and I didn't really expect them to, either...

So what did they (supposedly) do? Hack the company that created the film, of course! If the United States film production sector hasn't learned from the past, the North Koreans, ever since their split from the nation of Choson, have not liked the Americans!

Take this bit of information into consideration for a moment... North Korea, from the beginning, was formed by Kim Il-Sung. Since his death, which was extremely difficult for the North Korean people, the country has been run by his heir, Kim Jong-Il. After he tyrannized the same, brainwashed people his father claimed to have saved, what better way to continue the rule than to install the next heir to the Kim dynasty.

I'd like to reference to a book that I very much enjoy reading. "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader," a book written by Bradley K. Martin, gives an in-depth analysis of the nation of North Korea, from when it was formed, to the then current reign of Kim Jong-Il. The history of North Korea is something that should be understood before taking on the questions asked by people today concerning the actions and ideas of the North Koreans toward the United States and other nations as well.

In short, America went to war with the Koreans upon the division of the nation of Choson. They went to war in an attempt to stop the spread of communism. As is the result of every war between nations, people died. Many children were left without parents. Now of course they needed taken care of. So along came a man by the name of Kim Il-Sung, telling the children that their parents had been killed in the war. Children, believing most, if not all of what they hear from adults, believed in this man, and saw him as almost a father figure, offering his love and care. There's no better way to brainwash, then by indoctrinating the minds of very young children. He promised them homes and a fresh start. At the time of his death in 1995, the people were devastated, as they should've been.

So, from a quick analysis, I think that someone would be able to understand that the nation of North Korea would do anything in their power to serve and protect that which provided them everything.

Will the hacks continue? Will cyberwar become a mainstream form of terrorism between nations in the future? Who knows. But what is known, is that the United States has now appeased the Korean government, and they have what they want. All that can really be hoped for is the discontinuation of the attacks against the United States's computer networks. A very expensive mistake can leave a brutal mark for the future.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Future of Social Civility

So I was just watching the news last night (CNN), watching the decision made by on whether or not to indict Darren Wilson in the case against him, in the shooting of Michael Brown. I just wanted to get some opinions and ideas across, even though the blogging of the situation has been publicly condemned.

I want to say, that I am not here to be a judge, I am not an attorney, and although I share more conservative ideas, I believe that this issue is something that does not take a side.

One thing that I noticed was the reaction to the verdict. My one big question concerning the situation, is simply, why? Why take what was a decision made legally, and turn it into mass destruction of a city? I literally witnessed the destruction of an economy, something that will take years and years to build back up. We are talking peoples' livelihoods and lives shattered because of a legal decision.

My personal opinion is that the decision made by the grand jury was an excuse for the people of Ferguson to go on a mass rampage, looting stores and destroying buildings. However, this does not reflect on all of the people of Ferguson. Some had absolutely nothing to with the events that occurred the night of the decision. Some merely took into consideration the requests of Michael Brown's family, and protest peacefully. Nevertheless, what is certain is that for many, it will be a long time until they can return to their lives and be able to provide for themselves, and possibly even their families.

The social and economic repercussions will be harsh for awhile, but what now needs to be looked at is civil rebuild, along with the long term repairing of the economy.

The decision was made by the grand jury, and that is law. Therefore, why would people expect that causing destruction would solve anything? With the crowd heating up, chaos was almost inevitable, and that is just how society is. I am not here to preach and deliver my sermon on racial equality and inequality, but what does need to be done is the assurance that these social and economic disasters do not arise again. This case is something that has set a precedent in what happens as a result of a grand jury ruling in favor of a white police officer killing an African American.

Furthermore, my question for society as a whole is, at what point does social civility rupture, and at what point during that period can we can the cause of the issue and turn it around in favor of the community, for the sake of peoples' safety, as well as their economic interests?

For now, the damage is done, and my thoughts and prayers go out to those who suffered the destruction of the city. What society needs to do now, is analyze the protest process in cases such as these, and pull out that trigger that causes crowds to rise to their emotional climax, and stop it.

What are your thoughts on this event, as well as the socio-political implications that can clearly be seen in the case of civil rights?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bridging The Gap Between Reasonable Retirement And Financial Security

I hope everyone's having a good evening!

Alright so I thought of something that I think is a crucial issue that is arising, and will continue to be around for a long time now.

The question I ask is, how secure do you feel about retirement? I'd like to point out that this is not a question geared toward senior citizens. It's becoming a pressing issue, and is something that needs to be addressed both financially on a one-on-one basis as well as on a political level. Also, the interest in this topic came from why I want to be doing in the future with my career. As a prospective financial advisor, individuals coming closer to retirement are going to be extremely important clients to me, in regards to creating plans that will allow them to live comfortably upon their retirement and older years.

So really, what is the central issue pertaining to individuals' ability to retire with financial security. It is estimated that an individual should retire with savings equaling around one million dollars if they expect to be living on around a $30,000-$40,000 pension. With a nest egg of one million dollars, other costs must also be associated within the mix. These costs include healthcare, liabilities and other investments.

However, the country stumbles across another issue that will be affecting the ways in which individuals can comfortably retire. This issue comes across with the question, "What is going to happen to the Social Security Administration?" Simple, it is going to be GONE. And again, it is a very simple concept to understand that if one retrieves more money out of a system than is invested into it, it will disappear. Basic math, right? Yes, FICA and other Social Security expenses certainly may used as a tool to help those who are currently retiring. But come several or even less generations down the road, the Social Security net will no longer be able to hold anymore, and will ultimately collapse.

So really, what is something that is important to do now, in order to assure a comfortable retirement, and safe future into senior years? Saving will do it, partially, but there is always more that can be done. No single individual is expected to become the next John Paulson or George Soros, but what they are able to do is allocate their finances into different types of funds (Mutual Funds, ETFs) or IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) that will be able to aid in settling financial needs, and hopefully lift the burdens of everyday life when dealing with money. And the best part is, anyone can do it. I've been doing it since I was in the sixth grade. The stock market is definitely a tool I will be using to help myself financially. So my advice now before I become one, is, talk to an advisor, and see what they can do for you. And if not, find a reputable share builder like ETrade or Fidelity: companies equipped with the proper instruments to help any single individual with their financial health so that they can look forward to a brighter retirement.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Have a great week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What Goes Around Comes Around

So it's really late... Maybe not for a college student, but it's still pretty late nonetheless. In this late hour, I started reading a little bit of Snowball, and thought about what my lecturer in my Labor and Employment Relations had to say about how Unions absolutely hate the idea of subcontracting, as if it were some evil force that will drive America into the ground.

Anyway, I began thinking about what he said... Something on the lines of "Unions hate subcontracting and outsourcing because it takes jobs away from people in certain industries, and gives them to people in other countries like Germany, Italy and China...

Now, I want to refer back to my last blog post in which I discussed the stagnant economies of Europe, and how their decline is affecting the United States. So for a minute, I thought, "Yeah we need to keep jobs in the United States," but then, I thought, maybe outsourcing is something that will help to get the world's economy back to a more stabile position. 

Now, I'm sure many would argue with this idea, and fire back with something like "That's an outrage to even believe that exporting jobs in manufacturing is good for the growth of America!" This is perfectly fine. Opposing views is what keeps competition stiff. And with that, I believe that in such a stagnant period we are in now, that maybe there is room for consideration to turnover certain manufacturing jobs to Europe. 

I want to get to my reasoning. Yes, at first, doing something like this seems very steep, dramatic, and even toxic to America. Yes, employment has gone down, but take into consideration that those individuals choosing not to pursue employment, are no longer considered in the unemployment numbers. A possible real fix to such an issue of unemployment may in fact be to subcontract and outsource a certain quota of jobs to European countries, in knowing that getting their economies better will, in turn, stimulate our economy, bringing jobs in manufacturing back to the United States, and creating better economic prosperity to European nations. 

Going back to my last blog post, I think that there would definitely be reciprocal movement when dealing with the economies of Europe and that of our own. In an overall simple statement, our markets are co-dependent, so when they prosper, in turn, ours could very well see a brighter future for employment opportunity as our markets begin to recover.

Thanks for reading! I hope that this post gave some insight into some of the economic issues set on the current global stage.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Only Thing To Fear, Is Actually Fear Itself

So in my research, I came across a significant economic issue in the world today... This issue is Europe.

Recent financial reports show stocks crashing down in the United States due to the stagnant economies of several European nations.

The quick point that needs to be realized here is that fear is the driving force of stock markets. Fear is what causes a stock to go from a hit to a miss. It has been recently noticed also, that there is a major lack of decision-making by European policymakers, causing stress on the markets.

The Dow fell 1.6%, following the slowing down of several European economies. As a result, investors became increasingly nervous, turning to a common safe haven for stagnant market situations in the bond market.

Another effect of this fear from investors is the increase of the value of the Yen, which often is driven up during times of economic decline.

Although there is renewed confidence of in the health of the United States economy, there is still an energetic concern that with the decline in the economies of several European nations, along with the economies of China and Japan, that the global economy as a whole could remain in a state of decline for a longer period of time.

This is certainly not to say that there couldn't be a market correction in the United States, turning profit for investors who wisely allocate their wealth in well-thought-out stock picks. However, the main point is that Europe is scared as hell, and because of that, the American people will be scared too.

Now the big question. Although fear is a major opponent to the positive flow of the free stock market,  can fear drive an entire country's economy into the ground for years and even decades?

Monday, October 6, 2014

*Knock Knock*

Hey everyone! I hope you're all having a relaxing night now that Monday is practically over!

So I was just reading a lithe bit of financial news, and stumbled across something that I thought would be interesting to discuss. 

Whether you like it or not, the IRS will always be in your life, as long as you're a living, breathing human citizen of the United States of America. They may not take things as far as the NSA is rumored to have done, but they certainly have made a name for themselves. There are both positive and negative connotations to the name of the Internal Revenue Service. Nonetheless, they will always be there to breath down the necks of late tax-paying citizens. And that is perfectly fine! Like the rest of the bureaucracy, the IRS and its employees have a plethora of jobs to do. 

Basically, the IRS audits the finances of individuals to assure that bills are being paid, and no illegal activities are taking place. Likewise, they send out bills, impose penalties if the bills are not paid, and files liens. They are one big mechanism of collecting money to keep the U.S. economy rolling. So no, they're not some evil group of people out to seek revenge against those who choose not to pay their bills. But several recent events have the American public in a mix...

*We will now hold a hearing on the mistreatment of the services of the Internal Revenue System. We shall commence with the testimonies.*

*Good afternoon. my name is Lois Lerner, and I am the Director of Exempt Organizations of the United States Internal Revenue Service...*

Now, that may not be exactly what was said, but it is a good summary of what was to be a case that would attempt to dig into the emails of the IRS department director, on the targeting of the Tea Party group, a tax exempt political organization. 

So now take a moment and carefully disassemble and evaluate each aspect of the situation at hand. 

What was the department head of the IRS's intentions when dealing with the tax end of the Tea Party? Why were her emails hidden from investigation? Many know that Ms. Lerner refused questioning during her testimony in front of a Congressional committee.

This brings up the interesting point. Where will the trust go from here? Because of this mishap, will people look at the situation and think it okay to fudge their taxes? "The IRS did it, maybe I could slip by the rules and not be penalized." Will this incident allow taxpayers to get away with some taxation misdeeds? The American public shouldn't expect to obtain an answer from Lerner, IRS Commissioner Koskinen (who also brushed off questioning), or the President of the United States who claimed that there was not one smidgen of corruption within the walls of the building residing at 1111 Constitution Ave. Hopefully, some light will be shed on the situation.

I hope you enjoyed this article! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Everyone Wants A Bite Of The Apple

Hey guys!

I hope everyone's ready for Monday, and especially for the market opening back up!

Alright, so while I was home for the weekend, I was looking on Instagram, and saw a bunch of my friends with the new Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus! They look kinda cool (similar to the Galaxy Note 4)!

Anyway, as I thought about the new and improved Apple phone, I thought, there has to be some pretty big news about it!

So I read around and did my research, and came across a few interesting facts about where the new iPhone is going to be moving in the very near future.

According to the well-known business news website, MarketWatch, the Apple iPhone 6 has been in such great demand, that there has been a delay on the shipping of the product. Now, one might ask, "what will be the result of such an occurrence?" Well, for one, not only will there be a slew of unhappy customers who may follow up with poor feedback, but this could also back up the company as a whole in their production of the new phone. Also, the iPhone six will launch in other countries as well, one of them being China, which is a major consumer market alongside the United States.

Because of this, there could be issues dealing within the stock market. The major problem occurs when the product cannot meet consumer expectations. As a result, the market will begin to fluctuate negatively, as it cannot keep with the pace of the expectations of the Chinese, as well as other consumers around the world.

However, this is not to say that Apple will not be able to eventually meet the demands of its buyers. Suppose Apple has the capability to keep up with production and produce several million more iPhones. If that in fact does occur, and Apple is successful in this process, the profits would be exceptionally enormous!

Personally, I believe that Apple will be able to bask in their wealth for the time being, as the iPhone 6 continues to be manufactured and sold. Not just this, but I also believe that the Apple watch will yield high demand and profit.

Nonetheless, Apple is a bubble. In all honesty, what more can it really create? Sure, I love my Apple devices. I'm using my new MacBook Pro to blog as we speak. However, what more do I really need in physical product, as long as I am able to keep up with Apple's string of updates? There are only so many more physical features that one could add to a cell phone.

Apple may be a small bubble as of now, but nonetheless, a bubble indeed. How long will the profits prosper? Maybe I will be proven wrong, and Apple will create some machine that heals the ill. But as long as Apple sticks to the business of electronic communication, they will just be a bubble.

Have a great night! Until next time!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

When The CDC And An Economist Collide

Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the weekend. I think that today, I'd like to discuss a topic that could really impact the American people and business within the near future.

So I've been home from college for two days now, and I haven't been feeling so well, with a cough and a sore throat. As a result of this, I've been resorting to the couch watching CNN, C-Span, and zombie movies... more CNN than anything.

So I've been listening, and couldn't help to want to start a conversation about the Ebola epidemic.

Now, some may ask, "Max, how does that have anything to do with business??" I'll get to that in a moment.

Out of interest, I decided to peruse the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website. What's the first thing that pops up? A huge front pager about an Ebola update concerning the Texas Health Department's first confirmed diagnosis of the virus. 

To understand the potential severity of this diagnosis, I think we need to first understand what the virus is. According to, originally named the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola comes from the infection with a virus called Filoviridae. And yes, it is very hazardous and deadly. As serious as it is though, the United States government through the CDC is working at full speed to control the leak into the country. 

ADVICE: I am NOT a doctor. However, I strongly urge you to view the CDC's page dealing with prevention of the Ebola virus, along with the prevention of other viruses and illnesses. 

Now, getting to the business side of things...

How on earth could a disease affect the operation of global businesses and the U.S economy as a whole?

For one, when a disease surfaces as an epidemic, it causes fear that people will become sick. So what would be anyone's natural response to this? They stop seeing other people. This is something that certainly impacts the process of business meetings or other corporate events. Also, with people not wanting to meet directly with others, they also stop traveling. When people stop traveling, they don't buy airline tickets or gas for their cars. This drives millions of dollars into the ground and the stock prices of airline companies soar straight down. Also, with regards to keeping children safe, if the disease were to be something of a national emergency, schools may even close, causing the loss of millions and upwards of billions of dollars because of lack of productivity with parents remaining home with their kids.

Now what do you think? How will this epidemic drive the United States and global economies? With foreign corporate fear, comes the lessening of production and slowing of economic processes in the U.S.

Thanks for reading guys! And don't forget to wash your hands and take precautions to keep yourself healthy!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Where's The Data?

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a great evening and looking forward to a splendid weekend!

Alright, so I couldn't quite post last night because of the pressures of diligence in studying for a Hinduism and Buddhism test! Nonetheless, I'd really like to talk about a topic that I know is going to be important, not only to business majors, but everyone else who is living in the world of growing, global technology.


This idea is becoming huge, and possibly somewhat overwhelming! According to George Lee, the Chief Information Officer of Goldman Sachs's Investment Banking Division, 90% of big data has been created in the past two years! This is a remarkable statistic in that we can see just how much the world of technology is growing, and at such a fast rate! 

Impressive, right?

I think there's something a little cooler than a simple statistic, however. Companies all over the world are learning methods of cultivating these mass amounts of data, and because of this, company databases are becoming massive!

The big question to that is, what can we learn about this era of big data?

I think that as a society, it's extremely important that we realize how BIG big data is getting. Not only does the phrase represent the growing databases of companies, but it is becoming the front page image of many different industries. 

Medical, agriculture, construction, banking... These are just several of the industries being affected by the shift toward big data. Big data helps to really allow companies to expand their image and really make a leap into the technological generation that is commerce and marketing by means of the World Wide Web and the means in which companies and individuals connect all throughout the world.

Okay so let's break this down... Big data is becoming HUGE right now. It generates the means in which corporations operate. It's only going to get bigger as the world continues with technological innovations.

So I'm asking you, the viewer, this one thing. What are YOU going to learn from this? What do you think about the growth of big data, and its impact on the global business community? This phenomenon may very well control the way the business, scientific and social world alike move in to the future. Will the data big dogs win this one? I guess we'll have to just wait and see...

Well thanks for reading! For me, big data is going to be something that I'll work close with, and I hope to see it operate and innovate toward a better, more efficient future!

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Miss Out On The Opportunity

I hope everyone's having a great evening!

Okay so today, Penn State had their career fair. It was my very first opportunity to really get to see what some great companies had to offer.

I'd really like to start by saying... I was a mix of anxious and nervous. I'm not even going to lie. As a freshman, I had absolutely NO idea what to expect of it.

So I walk into the building, swipe my student ID, and go over to registration (I was even a little shaky then). Right before I walked into the gym, I stopped, fixed my tie, and proceeded to open my portfolio case as to have my resumes all ready to handout (I wasn't about to look like an idiot struggling to open the case and drop all 30 resumes). I then continued to do what I do naturally... talk and sell myself.

Okay, I want to make a long, 2 hour career fair experience, story short by giving a little advice to anyone going in to tackle a career fair at a university:

1) Make sure to look presentable. Appearance can say a million and a half things about a person's attitude toward internship/career hunting.

2) Be prepared with a short, effective speech to initiate the conversation (i.e. My name is John Doe, and I read about your company, and I believe that this would be a great opportunity to further my knowledge of the field I wish to pursue)

3) An ABSOLUTE MUST!! Always shake the right hand of the recruiter confidently, and keep eye contact. Confidence is key. Don't be scared. They were in your position at one point as well!!

4) Talk! Answer questions to the best of your ability, and above all, honestly. Honesty coincides with confidence and is much more professional when seeking a potential internship/career.

5) Last but not least, have fun and learn. I went in thinking it was going to be like a Wall Street investment bank trading floor. It's not. Everybody their is human and happy to talk and get to know more about you and your professional interests. One you realize that, it's smooth sailing, and the communication will flow.

I had an awesome time, and I got the opportunity to meet a bunch of great employers! I had some laughs and gained motivation to keep chasing my dreams. If you keep calm and collect, talk naturally and make a good impression, I can bet that employer will remember you. STAND OUT!!!

"Success in not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."

~ Winston Churchill 

Thanks for reading! Have a great rest of your day!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

(Excel)erate Your Excel Skills

Recently, I created a PowerPoint presentation in which I was to present a relevant business function with with the Microsoft spreadsheet program, Excel.

Sure, many people are well-versed in the inner-workings of Excel, and some even pursue a major in Management Information Systems or some other Info Tech oriented major. However, some don't understand all of the business functions of the Microsoft program...

I'd just like to take a few moments to introduce you to the Future Value function; it is used to determine accrued investments or profits over a specified amount of time.

So say, for example, I were to make payments of a defined amount, over a certain period at a whatever interest rate is stated, I would enter =fv (the equal sign is CRUCIAL to any Excel function) (interest rate per annum, total number of payment periods, payment made for each period, present value [this is optional], type (1 or 0) [also optional. This is contingent upon when a payment is due: 0=at the end of a period and 1=at the end of a period])

QuickXample (must be using Microsoft Excel)

How much money will I have earned after 4 years if I pay $200 per month into an account at an interest rate of 3%?

Solution: =fv(3%/12,4*12,-200) <<<<<FORMULA. Trust me, it works.

I'd just like to conclude my first tutorial by saying that I hope this can help most of you if you ever come across a place where this function becomes a must!

Thanks for reading!


Welcome to my blog!

Just to introduce myself!

My name is Max Morrow, and welcome to MaxMorrowIsNotMakingThisUp! I'm currently a Sophomore attending The Pennsylvania State University. My current majors are Finance and Business Economics. While in college, I hope to complete the course requirements to sit for my CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation. Along with my quest to become successful in the finance world, with all of my reading and studying, I recently gained an interest in Management Information Systems. While pursuing my double major and CFA designation, I have hopes of obtaining my Oracle certificate so that I may further my knowledge of higher computer systems. As for my long term goals, I hope to receive my Master of Business Administration and possibly return for a Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Economics. This is just a little bit about my educational endeavors!

I am extremely passionate about finance and financial news. I hope this blog could be used as somewhat of an asset in knowing more about the financial world, interesting things I come across, and global news, as these are sincere interests of mine.