An IPO is where you get stock in exchange for investing in actual production. ...
I was able to buy it because someone broke the rules.
Thanks for that story! Yeah, it sounds like that was pretty lucrative, and that's why they have those kinds of rules to keep the plebs out. Good that you were able to get in.
I did manage to pick up a bit of Boeing stock while I worked there in the early phase of my career. Yes, I broke a lot of risk guidelines by investing substantially in one stock that also happened to be my employer. It's certainly time to "make good" and sell it off now, since it easily overshadows all of my other conventional managed/index funds, even though I had originally allocated a smaller fraction to it than anything else. But I'd also just as soon hold on to it for many rationalizations:
* BCA used to go in fairly predictable 7-year cycles, but since they merged with their defense wing, that smoothed things out a bit. Also helps that the defense side tends to have revenue during wartime and the commercial side tends to have revenue during peacetime.
* I still have plenty of smart friends on the inside so I'll have some warning when they jump ship. For now it sounds like they've been happy with the trimming down of the top-heavy management hierarchy from the time I was there.
* They're quite good at spinning the media to keep their stock prices elevated.
* As the largest US exporter, they're probably too big to fail(tm), so I'm not too worried about them going under suddenly without some kind of US taxpayer intervention :-P
At the same time, I wouldn't buy any more stock at current prices :P And since it was from an early phase of my career, it's not even really all that much money to spend time worrying about.
Education? I have a degree in one field, and work in another. I don't need education.
I'd love to invest in education (well, I sorta did by marrying a teacher). But there are lots of indications that we're in an educational loan bubble right now which has both driven degree prices way up so high that the students you invest in will likely never be able to pay you back.
So your argument is left to pedantry, the kind where you want exclusive ownership of the now genericized "engineer" tag. well, fire up the coal engine on a choo choo train or shut the hell up.
Eh, this is one of the few pedantic things that I feel ought to worry us. "Financial Engineering" is a disparaging term that drags down all engineers in ABET-accredited fields. A lot of us work in the public trust, and are held accountable for our fuck-ups, even choo-choo or building HVAC engineers. Financial managers who know how to use "the calculus" to do risk management and manipulate the market to jump off the roulette wheel while it's high and leave the mess to everyone else are just plain sociopaths.