Sunday, December 7, 2008

TBAR: What Can I Do?

I've been asked by email what we can do with the Texas Ascendancy Project. Let's think long term. Let's start with the Texas Banking and Finance Project. You and I are not billionaires or millionaires, so it will have to be our children who make this happen. The keys are education and expectation. Our children need to expect to accomplish great things and we need to educate them towards this end.

Here's an example of how I work with my son. After I blogged about the Texas Banking and Finance Project, I showed my 5th grade boy some info about the Rothschild banking family. I pointed out that the founder of the banking empire was born in a ghetto, became a successful banker, and reared his boys to become successful bankers, teaching them a formula for long term success for their banks. I pointed out to my son that for hundreds of years, Canrights have been teachers, preachers, missionaries, doctors, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, but some were businessmen and at least one was a banker. Now he understands families have long lasting traditions. Next, I showed him that the author Mary Higgins Clark has brought her daughter Carol Higgins Clark into the writing business. We can start a business and teach it to our children.

Next, I talked to my son about "back of the envelope" calculations.

The Saturday December 6, 2008 issue of the Wall Street Journal had, on the first page of section B, Personal Finance, a photo of an envelope with simple calculations. Here's what the back-of-the-envelope calculations showed:

Citigroup , June 5, 2008
price per share = $20.60
tangible book value per share = $9.36
ratio of price/tangible book value = 2.20
on December 5, 2008
price per share = $7.71
tangible book value per share = $8.05
ratio of price/tangible book value = 0.96

Then I explained to him that the ratio being less than one meant the entire bank was priced at less than value of its pieces, so you could buy the bank, split it into pieces, sell all the pieces, and make a profit. Or keep it and know the bank can be fixed to make it worth ten times its purchase price.

I explained to my son that he has many options in life, that I will do the best I can to educate him to take advantage of his options. His choices are his to make, but he should not be afraid to aim high.

We have to educate our children, so let's educate them for greatness. We can use the Texas Ascendancy Project as an aid, a road map, in educating our children and explaining their options.

I can hear someone already saying, "Why bother, nothing you do makes a difference." Well, you and I might not make a big difference now, but even a small change in direction now can make a big difference further down the road.

There is a great line spoken by Gandolf in "The Two Towers." When Merry and Pippin show up with the Ents, Gandolf says, "The coming of Merry and Pippin is like the dropping of small stones that start an avalanche." Be patient and take heart. The steady application of a good plan will make a difference over time.

Robert Canright

The WSJ article mentioned was, "Heebner the Contrarian" by Diya Guillapalli.

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