Mark Skousen attributes much of his success in life to his partnership with his wife, Jo Ann, whom he married in 1973. Currently associate editor of Forecasts & Strategies, she co-authored of several of his investment books, managed their home-based publishing business for several years, and is associate producer of FreedomFest. She is also the family travel manager, having decided three times that they should take advantage of sudden opportunities to move abroad: first to the Bahamas, then to London, and most recently to New York, all with less than a month’s notice.
Jo Ann learned the principles of money management at an early age, when her parents put her in charge of their household budget at the age of 14. Those principles of hard work, frugality, saving, and debt avoidance eventually formed the foundation of the Skousens’ best-selling book, High Finance on a Low Budget. Jo Ann is also the former editor of Money Letter for Women, a newsletter directed at the particular needs and interests of women entering the investment world.
In 1993 Jo Ann completed her graduate degree in English Literature and began teaching at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where the Skousens raised their five children on beautiful Lake Virginia. She taught English writing and literature at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York, just 20 miles north of Manhattan on the Hudson River, and served as a co-director of the Learning Center. She also taught in Mercy’s degree-seeking program for inmates at Sing Sing prison, where she has met the most dedicated and hardworking students of her career. Currently, Jo Ann teaches English literature and writing at Chapman University in Orange County, California.
An avid fan of all genres of fiction, Jo Ann spends much of her free time at Broadway shows and in darkened movie theaters. “Fiction provides a profound way to tell a true story,” she says. As the entertainment editor of Liberty magazine, she reviews movies, books and plays each month, using them as an opportunity to discuss human nature, philosophy, and current issues.
Jo Ann is also the founding director of the Anthem Libertarian Film Festival, the world’s only film festival dedicated to supporting filmmakers who create short and full length documentaries and narrative films with libertarian themes. The film festival is held every July in Las Vegas as part of FreedomFest, an annual non-partisan libertarian conference, of which Jo Ann is also a co-producer.
While the Skousens have collaborated successfully in the business world, they consider their family of five children and three grandsons to be their most important collaboration. Jo Ann has lived the philosophy espoused in her favorite quotation, “No success can compensate for failure in the home,” by being a full-time mom while working as a part-time business partner, writer, student, and eventually teacher. . She is justifiably proud of their children’s success in their chosen professions as a dancer, filmmaker, history professor, copy writer, and figure skater, and looks forward to seeing what they will do next.