The National Learning Institute

Finance Category

Startup From The Ground Up[1]

STARTUP from the Ground Up

November 15, 2012 No Comments

Cynthia Kocialski has a wealth of knowledge and experience with start-ups – she’s managed three and been involved with many others.  So, the foundation stones for a great book are here.

As one would expect from an author with this much experience, the book covers just about everything one would need to know about starting up and managing a start-up.  Chapters range from the entrepreneur’s role through such things as planning, funding, marketing and so on. It’s all there.

Chapters are short, easy to read and to follow the main points or theme.  They would have benefited from action or summary points for ease of implementation or later follow up.

There are two areas where this book could be improved.  One is the structure and the other is a lack of practical examples.

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15 Ways to Grow Your Business in Every Economy

February 26, 2012 No Comments


This is a clear, simple and honest book about how to grow your business. It does what it says it will do – shows business and particularly small businesses, how to be more productive and profitable.

The chapters are short, mostly two to three pages, with exercises and action steps that are immediately applicable for improving the business.

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Trade Like the Little Guy

June 16, 2009 No Comments


More than fifteen years ago, two events changed the way shares are traded. In 1974 the US Securities and Exchange Commission introduced deregulation of brokerage commission costs. Prior to this, it would cost a trader approximately $1 commission per traded share. Today that figure is approximately $0.01 per share. One can readily see that trading in shares today is a far less expensive way to bolster ones finances than it was all those years ago.

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The Return Of Depression Economics

March 25, 2009 No Comments


In “The Return Of Depression Economics”, Paul Krugman sets out to explain why the current world financial crisis has occurred. He uses the Great Depression of the 1930s plus an extensive review of the Asian crisis of the 90s (which he suggests was a dress rehearsal for today’s dilemma) to explain what has gone wrong and most importantly, why.

Krugman is a Nobel Prize Winner in Economics. This alone should be enough to get anyone’s interest in a book on this topic. However, it is Krugman’s down to earth writing style and simple explanation of seemingly complex situations, that made the book a winner for me. In fact, it is the first book on economics that I have read cover-to-cover! That’s high praise indeed.

The book was first published in 1999, hence the emphasis on the Asian crisis. This proved to be an indicator of what was to come, but as Krugman points out, nobody learned from it. This latest edition, written in late 2008, now looks at the reasons behind the current financial meltdown.

Of particular interest to me, was Krugman’s description of the “shadow banking system” demonstrating how institutions such as Hedge Funds and even insurance companies (read AIG) have come to be seen as de facto banks – gaining all the benefits (e.g. government support) of the “official” banks without their legislative oversight. Their success in turn led to even further deregulation of the banks as they found the need to compete with the shadow banks.

If you’ve been baffled by some of the terms, such as CDS and CDO thrown around by the so called financial experts, then this book will fill a gap for you. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to have a better understanding of how our financial markets work and in particular, what’s caused today’s problems.