Assignment 4: Reading And Reviewing
Careers for financial mavens and other money movers is a self-help book written by Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler. This book aims to encourage people who have a certain interest in money into the right job. “Money and the world of finance fascinate them”. These people are referred to as financial mavens.
Although the book may be helpful for some people, it makes a lot of assumptions. As I looked in depth into the first chapter ”Careers For Financial Mavens” I began to notice a severe lack of evidence supporting the books claims. It states, “ The United States government spends trillions of dollars running the country”. The authors do not state where they received this information from; therefore the reader cannot trust this information. It also says “General Motors and Coca Cola earn billions from selling their products”. This is another assumption and should have been backed up by some basic research.
The entire book is based entirely on one assumption in particular; that every person who is a “Financial Maven” “would like to peruse a career that involves working with money in some way. This simply is not true for all people who find themselves being labeled a “financial maven”.
The book depicts “financial mavens” in an extremely stereotypical way, stating, “As children, financial mavens and other money movers counted pennies and actually saved money in their piggy banks.” It says that they “delight in allocating their funds” and even says “they would like to peruse a carrier that involves working with money in some way”. The authors have not quoted any research they have done to prove this extreme generalization.
Towards the end of this chapter the authors advise people that they should look for work in many different ways and say “In this age of computers, more and more people are finding jobs by going online”. While this is a great piece of advice because research has shown it to be true, the authors should have quoted some evidence of this, such as, “Monster.com” which is one of the online job search engines the authors advise, say that they have “thousands of jobs”. Which makes the likelihood of obtaining one of these jobs much greater.
The authors advise that you “make sure that you network. Many Financial mavens and other money movers have found jobs by talking to family, friends and coworkers” This is most certainly true. However the authors failed yet again to back up this information with their own or other people’s research. By doing some simple research into this area they would have been able to tell the reader that in January of 2009 a study was done by econsultansy digital marketers united which concluded that facebook had a 1,191,373,339 monthly visits which proves that a lot of people are communicating online. This makes the Internet a good place to get the word out that you are looking for employment. Add to that the benefit of those people perhaps being out with yours direct friendship circle. These people who “occupy a different world from you”. The authors then could have quoted the research done into the “strength of weak ties” by the sociologist Mark Granovetter which is discussed in the very popular book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, which says “Your friends, after all, occupy the same world that you do” and that “Your acquaintances … occupy a very different world than you. They are much more likely to know something that you don't”. These are the types of people you want to be networking with to find a job and should have been included in the book “ Careers For Financial Mavens And Other Money Movers”
The University Of Essex published a paper in August 2007 by Andrea Galeotti and Sanjeev Goyal titled “The Law OF The Few”. This journal is a continuation of the psychologist Stanley Milgram’s experiment into “small world syndrome” which investigates how people connect with others. In this journal the authors describe how they have created a game to identify the people who connect people to each other. These are called “connectors” or “opinion leaders”. It is Galeotti and Goyal’s hope that by identifying these leaders they can use this information so that the government for example can contact a selected crowd through one person. Which would save money and resources.
The authors say, “We also show that this pattern of social differentiation is efficient in some cases.” They give evidence of “Katz and Lazersfeld (1955)” a published investigation into the way people obtain information particularly in times of war. Discovering that “making purchase decisions across a range of products, most individuals relied on the information they received from another group of small individuals” This proves that the area they are investigating has purpose and should in theory work. It also proves that people take others opinions on a product very seriously. The authors imply that the area they are investigating is difficult because “Katz and Lazersfeld (1995) “ state, “ There were no significant observable differences between the opinion leaders and the rest”. This shows the reader that earlier studies into this area have proved difficult so it is likely that Galeotti and Goyal with struggle also.
The journal discusses a “recent Paper by Cabrales, Calvo-Armengol and Zenou (2007)” which investigates how people form their networks. The authors use this paper to show the difference in their experiment. While Cabrales, Calvo-Armengol and Zenou investigate individual networking relationships Galeotti and Goyal are investigating groups of people.
Galeotti and Goyal also mention a similar experiment by Bala and Goyal (2000) who “ approach the study of network games with strategic substitutes developed in Bramoulle and Kranton (2007)” They use this gathered evidence to show that nowadays location is not an issue for opinion leaders because they are in contact with people all over the globe through the internet.
Galeotti and Goyal successfully back up all their ideas and reasoning by using reliable sources of information and mentioning them in the body of the work. It seemed strange that after naming the piece “ The Law Of The few “ they did not mention the psychologist Stanly Milgrims study. This consisted of him sending out a parcel to a select number of people in all different states in America asking them to try to make the parcel reach a stockbroker who worked in Boston in as few steps as possible. The people who received these parcels were to send them to someone they thought was likely to know the stockbroker with the hope that it would one day reach him. The people who received the parcel were asked to record their name inside. This meant that Milgrim could calculate how many people the parcel had been to before reaching its destination. He found that the average number was 6. This lead to the common phrases the “six degrees of separation”. Another more recent experiment was carried out by Duncan Watts a professor at Cornell University who attempted to recreate Milgrims experiment using emails. The email needed to be delivered with forty eight thousand senders and nineteen targets in one hundred and fifty seven countries. He found that the average number of people it took to get the message through was six. This is the area Galeotti and Goyal were studying which makes this information extremely relevant to their investigation.
All in all these two pieces include a lot of useful information. Wither its finding the right job easily or finding an opinion leader to spread the word effectively. The importance of including source information has been amplified to me through this assignment. The book by Eberts and Gisler lacks in providing evidence and assumes and generalizes a lot of its “facts” where as “The Law Of The Few” has hard evidence backing up every one of its statements. Because of this I would trust the information in “Law Of The Few” over the information I found in “Careers For Financial Mavens and Other Money Movers”.
Bala V. and Goyal, 2000, A non cooperative model of network formation, Econometrica, 68, 1181-1229
Bramoulle Y. and Kranton R, 2007, Strategic Experimentation in Networks, Journal of Economic Theory, Forthcoming
Cabrales A. Calvo-Armengol A. and Zenou Y, 2007, Effort and Synergies in Network Formation, Mimeo
Eberts M. and Gisler M, 2004, Careers For Financial Mavens And Other Money Movers, McGraw-Hills
Econsultantsy Digital Marketers United, 2009, Internet Stats Compendium
Galeotti A. and Goyal S, 2007, Law OF The Few, University Of Essex Department Of Economics
Gladwell M, 2000, The Tipping Point, How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Little Brown
Katz E. and Lazersfeld P, 1955, Personal Influence, New York: The Free Press
Mark Granovetter, 1995, Getting A Job, A study Of Contacts And Careers, The University Of Chicago Press
Milgrim Stanley, 1974, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View, Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Monster.com, http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=monster.com&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8, Online Job site
Watts D, Strogatz S, 1998, Collective dynamics of 'small-world' networks
Amy Joe Fitzpatrick
Matriculation Number: 070012478