Let me me state the obvious right out of the gate. The University of Kansas isn’t especially known for this:

Jayhawk Football

At least not lately.

We’re more known for this:

KU BasketballBut our family has had KU season football tickets for the last four years and we’ve had a blast.

For starters, we – along with some of our friends – became diehard* tailgaters.

Tailgate grill

It gave us a chance to see our college kids and their friends each week.

KU Football Tailgate

Sometimes we even let our friends from that other school join us.

KU Tailgate

And as far as the games themselves, there’s nothing quite like the sights and sounds of a college football game.

KU Gameday on the Hill

It’s the perfect fall experience – right up there with hayrides and bonfires.

I’m excited because this year Kansas Athletics is giving one of The Family CEO’s readers the KU game day experience for free.

The giveaway includes:

  • One single-game family 4-pack of tickets to a home KU football game of the winner’s choice
  • One $50 gift card to Downtown Lawrence
  • One Junior Jayhawk Kids Club membership

Game days on the hill are perfect for families.
Baby_Jay_Fans_08162013 The Hy-Vee Hawk Zone opens on the football practice field two and a half hours before kick-off and runs through the end of the first quarter.


It includes inflatable games, live radio broadcasts, tackling station/drills, face painting, a balloon artist, free KU promotional items, a fan photo booth and visits from KU student-athletes.

And I was so happy to learn that the giveaway includes a $50 downtown Lawrence gift certificate. Mass Street in Lawrence is a destination in itself. There are dozens of cool shops and restaurants to spend that gift card. Dinner after the game, maybe?

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post. You can tell me who you would take to the game or where you would spend the gift card or just say I’m in.

Any comment will serve as your entry.

On Friday of this week – August 29 – I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner from the comments.

So good luck and Rock Chalk!

*P.S. Tailgating is addictive. Do you know how many tailgating accessories there are? Pop up tables! Miniature gas grills! Helmet-shaped salt and pepper shakers! (We have all of those.)

P.P.S. The funnel cakes in Memorial Stadium are delicious. Get one.

Note: I was compensated by Kansas Athletics for this post. All opinions are my own.

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The following is a guest post.

The Web has been buzzing about an imminent stock market collapse, and conspiracy theorists aren’t the only ones spouting the rhetoric. Leading thinkers like Robert Reich, Stanford University professor and former Secretary of Labor, and Robert Buckland, Citigroup’s chief global stock strategist, have both speculated that volatile times are ahead. It’s not always easy to predict what the market will do, but investors can still make money by buying securities if they use the right strategies.


Why Do People Think the Stock Market Is in Trouble?

The great recession of 2007 and 2008 took a major toll on the U.S. economy. Even seven years later, unemployment is still high, wages have stagnated, and the housing market remains depressed. Although the stock market has bounced back to its pre-crisis levels and beyond, the booming numbers, however, might not indicate that now is a great time to invest. A few factors could be temporarily inflating market indices and overstating the value of the markets, according to Secretary Reich:

  • Corporate buybacks. Many companies use stock buybacks to temporarily boost the prices of their stock. Most companies repurchase their stock to make their short-term returns look higher. More companies are engaging in buybacks than ever before, and some observers worry that this is inflating share prices across the market.
  • Mergers. Companies have large amounts of cash on-hand, and debt is cheap. As a result, they’re buying other companies to create the growth that strapped consumers can’t give them. By June 2014, the business world had already executed $786 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions for the fiscal year.
  • Inversions. Many companies are attempting to relocate overseas for tax purposes, which inflates their balance sheets but starves the U.S. economy of needed stimulus money.
  • Low bond yields. Low interest rates have made debt cheap, but they’ve also driven typical bond investors, like institutional investors, toward securities, further inflating share prices.
  • Foreign capital. With so much instability in the rest of the world and incentives for foreign investment, the U.S. stock market has become a haven for overseas investors.

Untitled2Should You Be Worried? Warren Buffett Says ‘No’

Even if you become an expert in security analysis and portfolio management, you’ll still never know exactly what the stock market will do. To Citigroup’s Robert Buckland, the stock market seems “eerily quiet” right now, a characteristic that sometimes precedes major volatility. For example, the S&P 500 hasn’t had a major drop within the last three years, which is twice as long as the average length between drops since World War II. Even if interesting times are ahead, people can still make money if they use the right strategies.

Warren Buffett, investment savant and owner of Berkshire Hathaway, advises casual investors to choose mutual funds that track market indices. For example, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX) tracks the S&P 500 closely, its value rising and falling as the S&P 500 rises and falls. The key to investing in index funds is to continue to buy shares and hold them for the long term. Instead of looking at investment performance in terms of weeks, months, or even years, look at S&P 500 growth over the decades. It’s easy to see how well the index has performed over the long haul and how well it could continue to perform for long-term investors.

For investors with more time to research different businesses, now is a good time to remember Buffett’s value-investing philosophy. The best investors, he says, are businesspeople buying pieces of businesses, not traders trying to make a killer profit on stocks. Value investing means buying shares of great businesses when shares are underpriced and positioned for growth. Great businesses can endure short-term fluctuations in the stock market, which helps to protect investor money.

Buy and Hold

UntitledBuffett, in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, advises choosing investments that have low loads, or administrative costs. He also warns that many financial advisors make money when their clients conduct financial transactions, so their advice to buy or sell stock isn’t always in the client’s best interest.

In the end, investing is simple: Buy good securities, hold them over the long term, and watch compounding pay off. Sage advice like Buffett’s might sound boring, but it could be the key to weathering stock market volatility.

Stock market graph image by JMiks from Shutterstock

Stock market trend line attached to dynamite image by Risto Vlita from Shutterstock

Burning dollar image by bluecrayola from Shutterstock

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Three Things To Consider When Relocating Your Business

by Julie August 24, 2014

The following is a post by Sam Peters. When is the last time you packed up your family and moved? The thing about moving is that it is an equal hassle moving across town or across country. You still have to go through all the same things. You do the same amount of packing, the […]

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It’s Kind of a Funny Story

by Julie August 15, 2014

So, funny story. A year ago this week, Lindsey and I were in New York to be on the TODAY show. (Did you miss our 4 ½ minutes of fame? You can see it here.) The next day was rainy – very rainy – and we were killing time in a bookstore in the basement […]

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When Your Adult Child Comes Back Home

by Julie August 14, 2014

We’re living a cliche: Our daughter – who graduated from college in May – is living in our basement. When you hear that do you picture a kid eating Doritos and watching Netflix all day? Yeah, same here. But on the contrary, Lindsey’s gainfully employed and she actually moved home at our suggestion. It seemed like […]

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What to Bring to Job Interview

by Julie August 13, 2014

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Investing with the Aristocrats: My Third Annual Dividend Investing Update

by Julie August 11, 2014

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Our New and Improved Credit Card Strategy

by Julie August 7, 2014

For many years our main credit card has been the Hilton Honors Visa card, and because of that we’ve earned a lot of Hilton points over time. Those free hotel rooms were nice, but they weren’t the best way for us to reward ourselves for our spending. So in the spirit of this blog, where I […]

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Our Kansas City Staycation in Pictures and by the Numbers

by Julie August 4, 2014

Last weekend Tom and I traveled exactly 17 miles to celebrate our anniversary. We went from our house in the suburbs to The Hotel President in downtown Kansas City. We wanted a weekend get away to mark the occasion, but we didn’t want the hassle or expense or time involved with traveling, so we planned a […]

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Back to School Shopping: The College Edition

by Julie August 1, 2014

Reason #458 why boys are different to raise than girls: Me: Do you want this laundry bag of Lindsey’s? We bought it for her when she went to college. Grant: Why do I need a laundry bag? Me: To carry your clothes back and forth when you do laundry at school. Grant: I figured I’d just […]

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