Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

Professor Randy Pausch at the Carnegie Mellon University is terminally ill. He has done amazing work in virtual realty and has inspired and enabled many students achieve their dreams. In the lecture, he talks about his childhood dreams, his parents and the life lessons he left behind with his children. His talk is full of insights on how a successful person was brought up and how a good parent educates their children. His words are sincere and inspiring. If you can take away with one or two of his life lessons, the time is worthwhile. The recording is available at YouTube.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Washington "GET" is no longer a Good Investment

I just paid my son's first college bill. I withdrew money from his GET account opened two and half years ago. At that time, I purchased one unit for $61 dollar. I only got $62.9 per unit today. The return is about 1.2% per year. It is much worse than the standard CD rate of 5%. In addition, I paid $100 application fee, which cannot be recovered.

A GET's point payout is calculated by dividing one year of tuition at the University of Washington by 100. If you are considering buying GET units now, one point costs $74 dollar, but the actual value is $62.9 today. It is a 15% loss at the beginning of your investment. I was told that UW's tuition's growth will be capped at 5% per year. Starting from $62.9, after 3 years, it is about $72.8. This seems like a really bad investment to me.