Month: July 2014

Higher Education Act Moving Forward

Wednesday, the U.S. House unanimously passed legislation to overhaul the manner in which the Education Department discloses college data. The new legislation will boost competency-based education.

This is the first time that Congress has influenced the Higher Education Act. The act, which expires at the end of the year, governs federal student aid.

Reauthorization, however, is still a long ways away. The differing opinions within Congress over key parts of the law reveal that it is unlikely the act will be renewed at the end of the year. Currently, House Republicans are planning on rewriting the law into smaller sections – something that they hope will attract support from both parties.

The Democrats were concerned with many aspects of the bill, such as the steadily-rising student loan debt as well as the rate at which college education prices are increasing. John Tierney, a Massachusetts Democrat, proposed a bill to provide students who have taken a loan within the last year to restructure the loan, giving them a rebate and offering a lower interest rate. The House rejected the proposal.

Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa is also trying to find a better solution for the Higher Education Act. Harkin recently put together a 700-page rewrite of the law and is seeking comments from both Democrats and Republicans.

Congress is looking to implement revisions to the Higher Education Act that will lower the cost of a college education.

Congress is looking to implement revisions to the Higher Education Act that will lower the cost of a college education.

Although we are making little progress on a rewritten law, the vote on Wednesday provided a huge win for competency-based education. Thirty academic programs are now allowed to experiment with competency-based education; this could affect thousands of students across the country.

Lawmakers – both Democratic and Republican – have praised competency-based education due to its ability to lower the cost of a college education as well as providing non-traditional students with an avenue of study.

The new legislation also provides an overhaul in the information provided for students. This includes things such as the number of courses taught by part-time and full-time instructors. It would also go into greater detail about the part-time instructors’ background in the field – such as the mean and median years of employment.

The new legislation also appointed a federal panel to spearhead efforts at deregulating higher education. It is aiming to reduce amount of federal regulation that is placed on colleges; this leads to cheaper education for students.

from Mark Tuminello – newest post from the blog of Mark Tuminello

Personal Finance Books – Top Five

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Personal finance is something that concerns most of us. With growing technological ways to track your finances, it is getting easier and easier to see exactly where you are spending your hard-earned dollars. New applications, such as Mint Finance, offer us a look at where we are going wrong with our finances – but they are only scratching the surface. These apps are showing how you are spending your money, but they are not providing avenues to increase your income or to find alternatives to help save you money.

Here is a list of the top five personal finance books. They will help you think about finance in a whole new light, and will make your wallet a little more heavy.

The Total Money Makeover

Written by Dave Ramsey, this book gives you a very simple rule to follow: stay out of debt. Ramsey says that the best way to avoid overspending is by avoiding credit cards and loans to stay out of financial trouble. Interest payments stack up quickly. The only debt that Ramsey will allow: taking out a mortgage. However, pay with cash and you’ll do just fine.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

This book, written by Robert Kiyosaki, gives the breakdown of two fathers – one that is educated and one that dropped out of middle school. Astonishingly, they lived completely different financial paths – the drop-out eventually became a millionaire while the college-educated father never reached his financial potential.

The story has an underlying theme – it’s not just what you know, but how you apply that knowledge. I’d highly recommend picking up this book – it will surely change your perspective on how to apply yourself.

Get Rich Carefully

Don't let Cramer's big personality fool you - the guy knows finance.

Don’t let Cramer’s big personality fool you – the guy knows finance.

Jim Cramer, one of the most well-known in the financial industry, released this gem just recently. This book is fantastic because it offers financial knowledge that is very simple and has very little risk associated with it. Cramer explains that you can become financially savvy in a methodical manner without having to bet your house on it. This high-yield, low-risk investing is something that everyone can learn from.

The Compound Effect

Darren Hardy states that all of your decisions have a compound effect on each other. He shows that making sure you are checking your finances in the proper way will prevent you from going down the tubes in the long run. Hardy offers you a way to look at every dollar you spend; it’s amazing how quickly you’ll be saving money after reading this book.

The Truth About Retirement Plans and IRAs

Ric Edelman breaks down how to start planning for retirement in the simplest way possible. With all the different options out there, it’s hard to decide which one is right for you. Edelman offers great advice that will leave you with money long after you decide to retire.

from Mark Tuminello

How To Land A Job At A Hedge Fund

When looking to land a job at a hedge fund, the first thing you need to ask yourself is am I ready for the intense environment that working at a hedge fund provides? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to get started. But beware: landing a job at a hedge fund can be just as intense as working there.

To land a job at a hedge fund, it starts where every career does: networking. Roy Cohen, a career coach that has written books such as The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide, says that you need to have a specific approach when it comes to networking for hedge funds. Cohen points out that most executives within the industry have short attention spans and feel rather uncomfortable when it comes to networking. There’s no beating around the bush – take a second to make them feel comfortable and then let them know your intentions.

Another interesting point about hedge funds is that they do not hold “job-seeker” conferences. The reason is simple: hedge funds are unregulated and keep their business under wraps. They don’t broadcast their business. As a result, it’s necessary to use every contact you have that is within the business.

Networking with hedge fund executives is different than most fields. Be prepared for the fast-pace environment.

Networking with hedge fund executives is different than most fields. Be prepared for the fast-pace environment.

After finding which head fund you want to target, make sure that you’re prepared for the meeting. Show them that you’ve done your research on the company as well as other companies. Hedge funds are investing in other companies – you need to have a suggestion as to why they should invest somewhere else. When Cohen was looking for a job as an analyst, he prepared an analysis of a company that he thought the hedge fund should consider. This is one way to prove that you’re prepared for the competitive environment as well as showcasing your stuff.

Throughout the meeting, make sure that you are focusing on clarity and confidence. Have very concise answers to why you want to work within the company and how they will benefit as a result of your work. Also, prepare yourself for off-beat questions; many executives within the industry want to see how quickly you can react and adapt to changing situations.

In terms of your resumé, you want to be as specific as possible and use metrics wherever available. Hedge funds base their investments off of hard facts. If you had a sales position in the past, note specific accomplishments such as your sales numbers.

Know how to best describe yourself to someone. Most interviewers will put the ball in your court, seeing how you can sell them. Your interest and your experience are most important when it comes to hedge funds; they show that you can keep up in the fast-paced environment. Also, be sure that you know the fund. What asset are they managing? What sector are they focusing in, and what strategies are they implementing? These are things that are hard to find out – be prepared to dig deep in research.

If you think that all these preparations are a bit over the top, then you probably aren’t ready to work at a hedge fund.

from Mark Tuminello – latest post by Mark Tuminello