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 fiancée 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 from 2013 through 2016..