Mark Skousen Biography

Mark Skousen has been on the move all his life. Born in San Diego, California, where his dad was an FBI agent, he grew up in Portland, Oregon, gaining a love for books, the outdoors and politics.

He worked his way through college at Brigham Young University, served a two year mission for the Mormon Church in Latin America, and returned to BYU, where he was Editorial Page editor of the student newspaper and a graduate teacher of economics.

When he graduated in 1972, he had a Master’s Degree in economics, a fully paid new car, a fiancĂ©e and a job as an economist for the Central Intelligence Agency. It was at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia that Mark gained his Washington sources of congressman and insiders, and his research know-how.

In 1973 he married his lovely wife Jo Ann, who gave up a four-year scholarship to move to Washington, DC. (She finally graduated as a 4.0 valedictorian from Rollins College in 1988). They are the parents of five children.

In 1984, the year of George Orwell’s celebrated fictional account of Big Brother, Mark and Jo Ann moved their family to Nassau, the Bahamas, where they spent two glorious years. In addition to their investment writing and saving on taxes, they acted in local plays, went sailing and enjoyed the beach. “Living in the Bahamas actually improved my ability to analyze the financial markets.”

After leaving the CIA in 1975, Mark became editor of the Inflation Survival Letter, and also earned his Ph.D. in economics in 1977 from George Washington University.

After living briefly in London, England, the Skousen family moved to Winter Park, Florida, where Mark was appointed Adjunct Professor of Economics and Finance at Rollins College. Students often recognized him driving around campus in his restored 1958 MGA convertible.

In his spare time, Mark enjoys writing letters (“a lost art”), playing basketball and county softball (last season he batted .750, not quite matching his win-lost record in his financial newsletter), collecting rare financial books and reading old Uncle Scrooge comic books to his children.

In 2001-02, Mark and his family moved to Irvington-on-Hudson, NY, just north of New York City, where Mark was president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the oldest freemarket think tank in the country. For two years, he taught at Columbia Business School, Barnard College and Columbia University, and now holds the Benjamin Franklin Chair of Management at Grantham University. He continues to write his newsletter, Forecasts & Strategies, as well as several trading services.

Skousen likes to write books, and his latest works include A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street, Maxims of Wall Street, Investing In One Lesson, EconoPower, the 3rd edition of Economic Logic (his macro/micro economics textbook), and the 2nd edition of The Making of Modern Economics (M. E. Sharpe, 2008); Vienna and Chicago, Friends or Foes? (Regnery Capital, 2005); The Compleated Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin, compiled and edited by Mark Skousen (Regnery, 2006); and The Big Three in Economics (M. E. Sharpe, 2007).

Occasionally he writes for Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and the Christian Science Monitor, as well as Human Events Online, The Daily Caller, Liberty Magazine and several other online and print publications.

From 2005-2007, Mark served as the Chairman of Investment U, where his investment research reached more than 250,000 readers… three times a week.

In 2006, he represented the Ben Franklin descendants and spoke at the First Issue Ceremony of the United States Post Office in Philadelphia.

In honor of his work in economics, finance and management, Grantham University renamed its business school “The Mark Skousen School of Business.”

In 2007, Skousen began writing his own personal e-letter called “The Worldly Philosophers,” which highlights the lives of the worldly wise, such as J. Paul Getty, J. P. Morgan, Ben Franklin, Aristotle, and Warren Buffett, and how to apply their lessons today. Today, he writes a weekly e-letter called “Skousen CAFE” which gives his latest views on current events, books, and philosophy, and includes his popular “You Blew It!” feature. Sign up at

Skousen is the founder and producer of FreedomFest, an annual conference held in Las Vegas and billed as the world’s largest gathering of free minds on liberty. The conference attracts thousands of attendees from across the country and the world, and across the political spectrum. It also attracts the best and brightest speakers, including Steve Forbes, John Mackay, John Stossel, Ben Stein, Larry Kudlow, Steve Moore, Dinesh D’Souza and many others. Sessions are not limited to politics only, but cover liberty issues in economics, finances, science & technology, art, literature, health and much more. See for much more.

Recently named one of the 20 most influential living economists by Super Scholar, Skousen has also been appointed the Presidential Fellow at Chapman University for 2013 and 2014.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Buxbaum April 13, 2010 at 11:49 am

I just started your book — the iPod audio version from I hope you get royalties from that!

Question for you — any difference between the following two factories?

Factory #1 employs 100 people and makes 100 million candy bars a year. It sells these candy bars wholesale for fifty cents apiece. The total overhead (ingredients, employee compensation, SG&A, everything) is $25 million, leaving the factory owner with $25 million profit.

Factory #2 also employs 100 people. It makes one boat a year. It sells the boat for $50 million. Its total overhead is also $25 million, leaving the factory owner with a $25 million profit.

Looking forward to your answer. Cheers!

Barbara Ryburn December 8, 2011 at 7:13 am

Dear Mark,

My husband Glenn and I have attended many of The Moneyshows in Orlando, FLorida. You are our favorite speaker. Glenn and his brother John Ryburn have been subscribers of yours for many years.

Yesterday, I toured the Stetson Mansion in Deland, Florida. It was one of the most beautifully restored homes I’ve ever seen. Built around 1886 by Mr. Stetson, the tour takes you into every room of the three story mansion. JT, one of the two owners and restorers, gives the most interesting commentary about the history and restoration of the mansion. He did a great deal of the work himself along with his partner Michael.

JT said they are looking for a buyer of the mansion. They have had people from China and Russia interested, but are hoping to find someone, or a foundation, from the USA to purchase it. Since the Stetson hats and Mr. Stetson are so much a part of American history, they would like to see the mansion preserved either as a private home or hopefully opened for the public to tour.

For more information on the mansion

I was wondering if you might have any suggestions as to who JT might approach as a prospective buyer. I think the mansion might be bought for around three and a half million dollars. He said the Stetson University is not interested. Their funds are allocated for other purposes.

Thank you for taking time to read this.
Barb Ryburn from The Villages, Florida

cathy December 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

I don’t know the answer but am interested in it.

fred miller April 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Manage hedge fund,,appreciate your concise insight!

JT Thompson May 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

Hi Barbara,
I am one of the owners of the Stetson Manison(JT) and I just wanted to thank you for taking the time out to present your question on this forum. The funny thing is that I just stumbeld on this today(5/19)and we just listed the mansion this week. We would love any feedback or ideas regarding the Stetson Mansion sale. I know the property is still a very attractive to overseas buyers,especially the Asian and Russian markets, because of it’s provenance and Americana appeal which is still something that both these influences want to acquire. This is not just a Central Florida treasure but a National masterpiece that is a reminder of what is great about our country.

So thank you again for reaching out on our behalf Barbara, and Mark please take a short trip over and visit with us one of these days, we are only 30 away!. I would love to show off Florida’s first luxury estate to you!

WAYNE PHILLIPS October 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Mr Skousen,
I saw you on Booktv tonight and became fascinated with your insight, ideas, and experience. I odered your book on Amazon. Your statements about the subjects covered in Freedomfest gatherings were very interesting. I would like to attend one.
I would love to exchange emails with you from time to time. Do you have time for that? I too lived in the Bahamas on my sailboat for a year or so. I am an electrical engineer with an entrepreneurial background. Over the last few years I took Rice University’s program in Novel Writing, and have been working on a historical novel.
I look forward to communicating with you.
Wayne Phillips
Houston, Texas

Wayne Cooke February 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Hi, Mark,
Just wanted to say “hi”, from a friend from 48 years ago in the West Hills Ward. Congratulations on all your sucess.

Wayne Cooke
Kalama, Washington

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