Mark Skousen Biography

Mark Skousen, Ph. D., is a nationally known investment expert, economist, university professor and author of more than 25 books. In July 2018, Dr. Skousen was awarded the inaugural Triple Crown in Economics for his work in economic theory, history and education, and has been identified as one of the 20 most influential living economists (

Born in San Diego, California, where his dad was an FBI agent, Mark moved at an early age and grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he gained love for books, the outdoors and politics. Mark worked his way through college while pursuing an undergraduate degree in economics at Brigham Young University (BYU). After spending two years in Latin America on a mission for the Mormon Church, Mark returned to BYU and earned his economics Master’s Degree in 1972.

Following graduation, Mark moved and spent three years as an economist for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It was at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia where Mark began developing his research know-how, as well as building his vast network of Washington sources that include congressman and other insiders.

In 1973, Mark married his lovely wife Jo Ann, who gave up a four-year scholarship to move to Washington, DC. (Jo Ann later returned to her studies and finally graduated as a 4.0 valedictorian from Rollins College in 1988.)

Mark left the CIA in 1975 and became editor of the Inflation Survival Letter. He also earned his Ph. D. in monetary economics at George Washington University in 1977.

Mark has taught economics and finance at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, Barnard College, Mercy College, Rollins College and Chapman University, where he is currently a Presidential Fellow. He won the “My Favorite Professor” Award at Chapman University in 2019. He also has been a consultant to IBM, Hutchinson Technology and other Fortune 500 companies.

Since 1980, Skousen has been editor in chief of Forecasts & Strategies, a popular award-winning investment newsletter. He also is editor of four trading services, Five Star Trader, Home Run TraderFast Money Alert, and TNT Trader.

In 1995, he served as editor of the investment series, “Secrets of the Great Investors,” with Louis Rukeyser as narrator.

Skousens in the Bahamas

Mark and Jo Ann 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. Mark insists that living in the Bahamas actually improved his ability to analyze the financial markets.

Mark in 1958 MGAAfter 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.

Mark Baseball

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 free market think tank in the country. For two years, he taught at Columbia Business School, Barnard College and Columbia University.

In 2005, Grantham University announced that it was renaming its School of Business as “The Mark Skousen School of Business,” and designated Mark Skousen as Benjamin Franklin Chair of Management at Grantham University.

Beginning in 2005, Mark also served as the Chairman of Investment U for two years, 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 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.

Also in 2007, Mark Skousen founded FreedomFest – a conference that was held in Las Vegas every year until 2019. FreedomFest is 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.

FreedomFest added the Anthem Film Festival – founded and directed by Mark’s wife Jo Ann – as another offering to its attendees in 2011. The festival brings to the conference a wide variety of libertarian and freedom-themed documentaries, short films and full feature films.

FreedomFest did not happen in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions and regulations issued by the Governor of Nevada. However, FreedomFest is back for 2021 and will take place in Rapid City, SD under the shadow of Mount Rushmore.

Mark, was a full-time contributor to Forbes Magazine from 1999 to 2005. Additionally, he has written articles for the Wall Street JournalReasonHuman Eventsthe Daily CallerChristian Science Monitor and The Journal of Economic Perspectives. He has appeared on CNBC, ABC, CNN, Fox News and C-SPAN Book TV. In 2008-09, he was a regular contributor to Larry Kudlow & Co. on CNBC.

Mark continues to write successfully the Forecasts & Strategies newsletter – now in its 41st year – as well as several trading services. In addition to writing his newsletter and articles for various publications, Mark continues to write books that cover a variety of topics, including economics, finance, and history.

His economic bestsellers include The Structure of Production (NYU Press, 1990, 2007, 2015), “Economics on Trial” (Irwin, 1991), “Puzzles and Paradoxes on Economics” (Edward Elgar, 1997), The Making of Modern Economics (Routledge, 2001, 2009, 2016), The Big Three in Economics (M. E. Sharpe, 2007), EconoPower (Wiley, 2008) and Economic Logic (2000, 2014, 2016), a market-friendly textbook.  In 2009, The Making of Modern Economics won the Choice Book Award for Outstanding Academic Title.

His financial bestsellers include The Complete Guide to Financial Privacy (Simon & Schuster, 1983), “High Finance on a Low Budget” (Bantam, 1981), co-authored with his wife Jo Ann, “Scrooge Investing” (Little Brown, 1995; McGraw Hill, 1999), Investing in One Lesson (Regnery, 2007), and A Viennese Waltz Down Wall Street (Laissez Faire Books, 2013). His latest financial work is The Maxims of Wall Street (2011), now available in its 10th Anniversary Edition.

In 2006, he and his wife completed Benjamin Franklin’s famous Autobiography, which ended abruptly in 1757, when Franklin was 51 years old.  In “volume two” of his life, the Skousens compiled and edited Franklin’s writings from 1757 until his death in 1790, resulting in The Completed Autobiography, by Benjamin Franklin (Regnery, 2006).  It covers his life as a colonial agent, signer of the Declaration of Independence, ambassador to France, and signer of the U. S. Constitution.

Based on his work The Structure of Production (NYU Press, 1990), the federal government began publishing a broader, more accurate measure of the economy, Gross Output (GO), every quarter along with GDP.  It is the first macro statistic of the economy to be published quarterly since GDP was invented in the 1940s.

In 2019, Mark left Irvington-on-Hudson, NY, and relocated to Orange County California where he and his wife currently reside. Dr. Skousen has lived in eight nations and traveled and lectured throughout the United States and 70 countries. He grew up in Portland, Oregon. He and his wife, Jo Ann, and five children have lived in Washington, D.C.; Nassau, the Bahamas; London, England; Orlando, Florida; New York, New York; and Orange, California.