Whether you are like the optimistic bull – which sees the economy on an upswing – or the pessimistic bear – which sees it sliding – you want businesses to succeed. Business vitality can dictate our livelihoods and increase our standards of living and quality of life.
“A thriving economy and job market help society in both the short and the long run,” said Jay Ritter, the Joseph B. Cordell Eminent Scholar in the department of finance at the University of Florida.
“In the short run people are less stressed out if they can find a job that fits their skills and interests. I focus more on the long run, thinking about why is it that the standards of living are so much higher than they were 50 years ago; what can be done that will make our standards of living even higher 10 years from now, 20 years from now?”
Ritter does this by valuing companies and estimating their profitability. As a go-to academic expert, he advises the media, global governments and small to large companies on initial public offerings (IPOs), investment banking, general and global market trends and finance.
Often referred to as “Mr. IPO,” he also passes his insight on to UF undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. students, helping them use the fundamentals of finance to ask provocative questions and see things in a new light. For example, Ritter draws a parallel between Darwinian survival in nature and in the business world.
“I have a pond in my yard that amphibians use for laying their eggs and breeding. Some plants and creatures will show up on their own, some will thrive, and when the prey population gets too big, the predator population increases,” he said.
Similar to the life cycle of a pond, Ritter illustrates that businesses are most likely to survive when they adapt to their evolving environment.
“Nature strikes a balance and companies have to constantly evolve.”