More from economist Ken Mayland

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010


Last night, I covered a speech by ClearView Economics president  Ken Mayland at a BGSU Firelands event hosted by the Erie County Chamber of Commerce. This morning, as I drove to work, I heard him quoted on the 8 a.m. national news update offered by National Public Radio.

A couple of extra bits: Mayland remarked that consumers have become risk-averse and said: “The saddest aspect of that is there is going to be less risk taking in the stock market. If people stay out of the stock market ... they are consigning themselves to a poor retirement.”

A few minutes later, he remarked that stocks “are at bargain basement prices. I want to start accumulating stocks when their prices are low. I like to buy things on the cheap.”

After his talk, I went up to Mayland to ask him four questions.

When I asked him to recommend his favorite economics blogs (I was going to link to them here), he said he generally doesn’t read them, because he doesn’t have time. He also whiffed when I asked his opinion of the Cato Institute, the free-market think tank. He said he doesn’t follow their pundits closely enough to comment.

I did better when I asked which books my readers should try to get a better understanding of economics. He likes authors Walter Williams, an economist and syndicated columnist, and Thomas Sowell, also an economist and syndicated columnist. Their books are easy to understand and will help people think about economics the right way, Mayland said.

I also asked Mayland to name his favorite Nobel Prize-winning economist. He likes one who’s deceased — Milton Friedman — and said people who want to learn about economics should try to find his old PBS series, “Free to Choose.” (It’s available free on the Internet.)


Anonymous (not ...

Reads like the man's a libertarian! Good for him.

Unfortunately, he's currently on the wrong end of the U.S. socio-economic thought spectrum that is currently stinking up Washington with its misguided sense of collectivism and its desire to steal private property.

Having a tightie sum currently invested in the markets (I beat the mkt. averages last yr. - thankyouverymuch), I agree with his risk assessment and have been dollar cost averaging into the mkt. over the last couple of months. I use mostly broadly diversified low-cost index mutual funds.

So many studies have shown that market timing (knowing when the best time is to get into the market), is next to impossible; so don't even waste your time thinking about it.

There are people who invested back in the 1970s during the doom and gloom period of the market and are glad today that they did because they've been well rewarded for their efforts.

I believe that like the 1970s, we are in one of those periods. If your investment time horizon is long enough (5 years or more), I'd take the plunge. Dollar cost avg. in however.

Good primers for uninitiated investors:

"˜Mutual Funds for Dummies' & "˜Investing for Dummies.'

It's OK to have an investment advisor, but the stories about the Bernie Madoffs of the world, merely helps to re-enforce my opinion that self-education is best.

If you have an investment advisor, AT LEAST have a modicum of knowledge so you know if the advice and guidance that he/she is providing is worth the cost of the fee structure or most importantly that you're not investing into a scam.

IMO personal finance and investing ain't "˜rocket-surgery,' it just takes some time and effort to do the work.

It's your money after all; who's gonna look after it better than you?

I've yet to find a financial advisor who works as cheaply as me and produces as good of results.

Anonymous (not ...

The Heritage Foundation's 2009 Index of Economic Freedom:

The U.S. slipped to #6 this year because of decreases in fiscal freedom and the increase in size of government spending.

With the passage of the so-called economic stimulus plan, the U.S. will undoubtedly slip lower in rank in 2010 as we see more personal economic freedom ebbing away.