John Ferguson

Profile Updated: March 9, 2024
Residing In: La Jolla, CA USA
Spouse/Partner: Nancy Lo (since 1967)
Occupation: retired writer, publisher
Children: Leland (1971)
Mailee (1974)
Military Service: Army  
Yes! Attending Reunion

BS in business, Oregon State University, 1965
MBA, Oregon State University, 1966
taught statistics, calculus, and accounting at Oregon State University, 1966-1968
US Army Infantry 1968-1970, including one year with the Fourth Division in Pleiku and An Khe, Viet Nam. No purple heart.
1970 enroll at Stanford University. PhD in finance, 1978.
1972-1976 teach accounting and finance at San Jose State, Cal State Hayward, and San Francisco State.
Bought a house in La Jolla, CA, in 1976, and have been living there ever since.
PhD in finance, Stanford University, 1978
Since 1975 I've been writing and publishing books, newletters, and software about beating casinos, under the pen name Stanford Wong.
I hope to never retire.

Attending Reunion


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John Ferguson has a birthday today.
Apr 03, 2024 at 1:33 AM
John Ferguson posted a message.
Mar 09, 2024 at 8:27 PM

My favorite 81 is 3^4.

John Ferguson posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 23, 2024 at 10:48 AM

Posted on: Jan 22, 2024 at 9:09 AM

I'd like to add some happy news. Steve Pettit got married on 30 December 2023 to Mabel, a woman his age. I was the only Sunset classmate invited. I suggested to Steve that he announce the upcoming wedding here, but he is too much of a private person to do that. Anyway, it was a happy event. Most of the 50 or so attendees were relatives of Steve and Mabel, who both have been married before. It was fun interacting with all of them, and the food was great.

John Ferguson posted a message. New comment added.
Aug 11, 2023 at 12:52 PM

Posted on: Aug 10, 2023 at 10:36 AM

Here is a recent study of the most important factors correlated with a long healthy life:

The most important factors are:
1. exercise
2. avoiding opioids
3. avoiding smoking
4. managing stress
5. eating a plant-based diet
6. avoiding binge drinking
7. sleeping well
8. having positive social contacts

John Ferguson updated his profile. View.
May 06, 2023 at 8:33 AM
John Ferguson has a birthday today.
Apr 03, 2023 at 1:33 AM
John Ferguson posted a message.
Feb 02, 2023 at 7:27 AM

I have found a wonderful vehicle for my retirement savings: VTSAX. It's a Vanguard mutual fund with great returns, great liquidity, and minimal cost. It's also the world's largest mutual fund.

We opened our VTSAX account in January 2013, and it has been making us an average of 10.5% annually for a decade. That puts us a little on the lucky side, as the stock market has averaged 10% annual returns for a century. Caution: The ups and downs are huge.

As for liquidity: You want to be able to withdraw any amount of money quickly. We withdraw money online directly into our checking account. There are only two or three days between when we give the order to sell and when the money hits our checking account. Adding money is just as easy: online, directly from our checking account.

As for cost, Vanguard charges an "expense ratio," an annual fee of 0.04%. For every $100,000 in your account, your annual fee is $40. If you have a million dollars invested, your annual fee will be $400. There is no charge for buying more, and there is no charge for withdrawing money. Vanguard will offer to set you up with an advisor for an additional 0.11%, but no advisor can help you outperform the market.

Here's where to get more information and get started: You can sign up online.

John Ferguson posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 02, 2023 at 8:30 AM

Posted on: Jan 01, 2023 at 10:46 AM

After graduating from Sunset High in 1961, I went to Oregon State University for seven years: four years for a BS, one year for an MBA, and an instructor for two years. Jerry Persons and I spent the summer of 1964 in Nevada taking on the casinos at blackjack using the card-counting system from Ed Thorp's Beat the Dealer. In an MBA class I met Nancy Lo, a student from Taiwan. We married in 1967, and Nancy went on to earn a PhD in statistics at OSU.

In 1968 I got drafted into the Army for two years. I earned a Ranger tab and spent a year with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. I came back with no bullet holes or other damage.

In 1970 we moved to Palo Alto, CA, and I got my PhD in finance from Stanford. We had two kids. I ran my fastest mile: 4:30.6. I taught at San Francisco State for two years. I wrote a book, "Professional Blackjack," using the pen name Stanford Wong.

In 1976 we moved to La Jolla, CA because the National Marine Fisheries Service offered Nancy a job. I thought I would be able to teach at any of San Diego's three major universities; they all liked me, but none had the money to pay me. So I turned writing and publishing books about beating casinos into a business, calling it Pi Yee Press. You can find information about my books by searching the internet for Stanford Wong. I sold Pi Yee Press in 2016.

My favorite hobbies now are solving Slitherlink puzzles from, and solving 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles. We used to travel, but stopped when Covid came along.
As I write this, I am approaching 80, healthy and active, and take no medications. I do 150 pushups a day and walk about four miles a day. The only doctor I see regularly is a dermatologist who examines my skin every six months. We still live in the house we bought in 1976.

John Ferguson has a birthday today.
Apr 03, 2022 at 1:33 AM
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Aug 21, 2021 at 6:47 PM
John Ferguson has a birthday today. New comment added.
Apr 03, 2021 at 8:42 AM

Posted on: Apr 03, 2021 at 1:33 AM

John Ferguson posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 22, 2020 at 5:19 PM

Posted on: Jul 22, 2020 at 11:40 AM

This is a photo of me, my son Leland, and his two daughters Eve (4) and Sarah (3). Their mother calls them monkeys. :-)

I'm still doing 150 pushups every day. I've cut back on alcohol, from a beer a day to a beer a week. Less alcohol means stronger muscles, better complexion, and less ringing in my ears.

John Ferguson has a birthday today.
Apr 03, 2020 at 1:36 AM
John Ferguson has a birthday today.
Apr 03, 2019 at 1:33 AM
John Ferguson posted a message. New comment added.
Feb 07, 2019 at 8:33 AM

Posted on: Feb 06, 2019 at 9:32 AM

Me, granddaughter Eve, and wife Nancy on Eve's 3rd birthday. When Nancy was 3, she looked exactly like Eve.

John Ferguson posted a message. New comment added.
Nov 07, 2018 at 1:24 PM

Posted on: Nov 06, 2018 at 6:24 PM

Howdy Sunset classmates.

I’m writing to repeat some advice I am sure you have heard hundreds of times: the importance of exercise. I’m 75, and I feel great all the time every day. I give the credit to keeping muscle on my body. The main thing I do is pushups, 150 per day. I also walk quite a bit, and swim when the ocean is warm enough.

Here’s how I heard about the value of pushups. About four years ago I ran into Kurt Flowers, a longtime friend in his early 60s who had been a state-champion wrestler in his high school days. Kurt’s face looked his age, but he still had the body of a high-school wrestler. I exclaimed: “Kurt, you look fabulous! What’s your secret?” His answer: pushups. I asked for details, so Kurt told me his story. When he was graduating from high school, he asked his wresting coach for life advice. His coach said “Pushups.” He told Kurt that if he did 1000 pushups a week, he would keep his high-school physique. Kurt took his advice and had been doing 1000 pushups a week ever since. After Kurt told me that, I started doing pushups. It took a while for me to work up to 150 a day. I do sets of 10 to 25 at a time, and keep track of the total until I have my 150 for the day. You would not mistake me for a high-school wrestler, but I am only 15 pounds heavier now than when I was in high school, and I think the extra weight is all muscle. If you cover my face, you would not know I am 75. I am taking no medications, and I am not under a doctor’s care for anything.

There is no special magic in pushups. The important thing is to be doing something every day, something that puts muscle on your body. Most of the physical weaknesses we think of as being symptoms of old age are actually symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle. Change to an active lifestyle, and you can feel and look much better.

John Ferguson has a birthday today.
Apr 03, 2018 at 1:33 AM
John Ferguson has a birthday today.
Apr 03, 2017 at 1:33 AM
John Ferguson posted a message.
Jun 30, 2016 at 4:45 PM

Alan: Thanks for sharing your story. You are one of the people that I have often wondered what they did after graduating from high school. You have satisfied only part of my curiosity, as you have not said anything about your personal life: wife etc.

John Ferguson has a birthday today.
Apr 03, 2016 at 1:33 AM
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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM
John Ferguson and grandkids, August 2011
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM
John Ferguson and wife Nancy Lo, March 2011