January 27, 2015

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M Le Macaron 
Macaroons from Bordeaux (France) from Flickr.   Image made available under Creative Common Attribution 2.0 Generic License

A Basic Overview of What Happened with the Swiss Franc and Nestle’s Share Price

By now, all of you know what happened recently with the Swiss Franc, Euro, and, as an extension, the price change of Nestlé shares in the United States.  It caused a stream of messages to come in through the contact form like I haven’t seen in a long time, all with the same theme.  Here […]

Mount Olympus Awards Manufacturing Letterman Jacket Awards

French Stocks, Protestantism, and Old Money

One of the reasons I haven’t been around much this month is I’ve been working with members on both sides of my family, adjusting portfolios now that we are in a new tax year, reviewing plans to make sure everyone is on track for retirement, and dealing with some paperwork that includes a nightmare of […]

Joshua Kennon Aaron Green 5 Year Investment Results 2014

Thoughts on Stock Market Benchmarks (and an Update to Our 5 Year Investment Returns)

Over the past 3-4 months, I’ve had a lot of people write me asking about benchmarks as they pertain to their investment portfolio.  I haven’t had time to respond to these messages so I’m going to address the broader topic here and use it as a sort of catch-all to explain how I think about […]

Tulsa Race Riot Official Report 2

The Night Black Wall Street Burned to the Ground

When I became obsessed with investing as a child, convinced it offered me the greatest probability of escaping what I saw as an economic dead end due to the community in which I lived, I spent years reading everything I could about any and every event tied to the financial markets and those who shaped […]

Lysol Reckitt Benckiser

About that Reckitt Benckiser Spin-Off of Indivior …

Have you ever woken up one morning to find that you are suddenly, directly, in what amounts to the synthetic heroin business?  That you’re making money off of cocaine addicts and alcoholics trying to kick the habit?  Such are the unexpected oddities of holding a well-diversified, strong investment portfolio. Awhile ago, I had my mother acquire shares […]

Red Shotgun Thermos Joshua Kennon

Wrapping Presents and Getting Ready for Christmas Eve

We’re at home wrapping presents, baking cookies, and getting ready for the family dinners that are coming up in the next couple of days.  Since Aaron and I are gifting stock this year – almost all of the transactions were completed yesterday with a settlement date of the 26th – there isn’t a lot left for us […]

Center for Science in the Public Interest

The New York Times Shows What 2,000 Calories Looks Like: The Mental Models of Math Estimation

The average healthy adult should eat roughly 2,000 calories per day to maintain a recommended weight.  In the United States, all else equal, the average male, at 5’8″, should weigh between 140 pounds and 172 pounds.  The average female, at 5’4″, should weigh between 114 pounds and 151 pounds. In study after study, the typical person underestimates […]

JP Morgan Benefits of Saving Early

The Power of Compounding, Student Loan Debt, Communism, and Stealth Wealth

A friend of mine, a nuclear engineer, once explained that he doesn’t bother to contribute to forums or message boards when the topic of nuclear energy is brought up anymore because people are irrational about it, interested in their own confirmation bias rather than learning or having an honest discussion.  Almost everyone I know working in […]

Liquidity Discounts IRS

How to Give Shares of Stock as a Christmas Gift

I am sometimes asked how to buy shares of stock as a Christmas gift for someone, often a younger family member such as a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, godson, goddaughter, or, in a handful of cases, retired parents who could use the additional passive income.  It can be a wonderful idea that teaches a lot of […]

Exxon Mobil 2013 Annual Report

Watching Oil Decline 45% Has Made Me Excited

The global benchmark for crude has collapsed an astounding 45% since the summer, with no sign that it will abate anytime soon.  Historically, this is nothing.  To see what a real oil crash looks like, you should read old news articles, magazine essays, and biographies to get some context.  I remember $10 a barrel oil […]

Facebook Valuation

Here’s an Astounding Stock Market Fact You Probably Haven’t Heard

Imagine that I raise $225 billion.  I create a new business called Kennon Super Company, Inc.  We then go out and buy seven other companies using that money, paying the current market capitalization of the public stock.  A flurry of paperwork follows and, by the time it is all settled, this is what our business […]

Retail Gasoline Real vs Nominal Inflation Adjustment Prices

Make Sure You Measure the Right Things in Life

With all of the talk of gas prices falling, I’m reminded of the situation a couple of years ago when fuel costs were on an upward trajectory.  Everyone from the little old ladies at church to major economic commentators were lamenting the “record high” energy expenses.  Very few people noticed that, as per the U.S. Energy Information Administration […]

Mail Bag Joshua Kennon Pen

Mail Bag: Secret Buy and Hold Investing Millionaires

Be careful of drawing mistaken conclusions based on faulty leaps.  This holds true in your personal life, your portfolio, and your business.  Just because one statement is true does not make another statement false; a distinction that can serve you well if you remember it. I recently read an article discussing Buffett and his methodology and […]

CME Building Wikipedia

Foreign Currency and Your International Investments

One of the more interesting problems you’ll face as you amass more capital is how to approach the issue of foreign currency income, either in the form of dividends, interest, rents, or capital gains.  You can solve this problem by reminding yourself that, ultimately, money exists to be used – either by yourself, your heirs, or […]

Making Almond Clusters Josh and Aaron Kennon Green

It’s Time to Make Christmas Candy as Gifts!

We’re making Christmas candies, chocolates, and cookies as part of our gift strategy this year.  I’m probably most excited about trying my hand at the Jacques Torres Nougat Montilimar, which is going to require a deft hand.  (It looked promising, and we stopped in one of his chocolate shops in New York a few years […]

Nancy Silverton of Le Brea Bakery in Los Angeles came to the set and prepared a creme fraiche custard brioche tarte in a white wine sauce Baking with Julia Child

A Recipe So Good It Brought Julia Child to Tears

Back in 1997, Nancy Silverton of Le Brea Bakery in Los Angeles went to Julia Child’s home studio and prepared a creme fraiche custard brioche tarte in a white wine sauce.  The execution was so good, and the recipe so perfect, that at the end of the segment, when she takes a bite, it brings Julia […]

Even More Posts

Searing Chuck Roast for Dutch Oven Recipe

Do Any Of You Have a Steak Brandy or Cognac Butter Reduction Recipe?

Ten or eleven years ago, I went to a steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska during a trip home from college.  The chef that day had decided to make either a brandy or cognac reduction sauce using the drippings from the beef.  Feeling adventurous, I decided to order off menu and see what it was like.  The […]

Hershey Icon for Investment Post

Investing in The Hershey Company Has Made Generations of Investors Rich

As we approach the end of 2014, I’m looking back on the year.  One of the major changes from an investing perspective what a modification Aaron and I made in the investment policy manual.  That doesn’t happen often.  We added a handful of companies to the list of permanent business; those companies we consider so […]

Ghost Ship Passive Investment Portfolio

I’m Building a Ghost Ship Portfolio for Someone; A Sort of Index Fund on Steroids

I’m putting together a retirement portfolio for several people I know.  One of them is proving to be a fun intellectual exercise.  Essentially, the mandate calls for me creating a ghost ship of a portfolio that, once it has set sail, will drift almost untouched for the next 30+ years when it will be gifted to the […]

Closeup of Caramel Pecan Apple Pie Josh and Aaron

A Really Easy Caramel Pecan Apple Pie Recipe You Might Want to Try

I mentioned yesterday that I baked a caramel pecan apple pie.  We had some surplus homemade pastry dough and granny smith apples from the two granny smith apple pies I made on Thanksgiving, using my favorite apple pie recipe.  I wanted to try something different, and needed to find another apple pie recipe that didn’t require […]

My Mom Cooking in Her Kitchen

There Is a Huge Staub Cookware Sale Going On Right Now!

A lot of you have written me over the years about picking up your own French Oven or Dutch Oven given that they last forever, are one of the best tools to have in the kitchen, are so versatile, and can make cooking certain types of recipes much easier.  I never deviate on my past […]

Baking Apple Pies in the Oven

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving Everyone!

Aaron asked me if I would make a couple of my apple pies for Thanksgiving with my family tomorrow.  It’s been awhile since I baked this particular pie recipe.  He brought it up three or four times, each entreaty accompanied by ever-escalating puppy dog eyes, so I knew he wanted me to do it even though I […]

Mount Olympus Awards Letterman Jackets Machines

Varsity Letter Manufacturing and Dragon Age Inquisition

My posting schedule has fallen behind because it’s crazy around here.  Three of my younger siblings have birthdays this week (three of the four Kennon children are now 30 years or older, which is an odd thought), I’m going to visit my grandmother several hours away, I’m swamped at the office since this is our […]

Il Lazzarone Pizza St Joseph Missouri

You Should Try the Wood-Fired Italian Neapolitan Pizza at Il Lazzarone

We met up with friends at a new wood-fired Italian Neapolitan pizza restaurant that opened 45 minutes north of Kansas City called Il Lazzarone.  This is the same group with which we regularly try new restaurants, though I’ve been terrible about posting them all over the years.  We sat inside for hours talking about everything from economics, rental […]

Obamacare Premiums Unaffordable

I Just Saw the Obamacare Health Insurance Premium Estimates … God Help the Middle and Lower Classes

Out of curiosity, I ran the numbers for the health care premiums on the upcoming Obamacare enrollment period as if Aaron and I were two regular people, looking for health insurance in the general market.  The results are insane; completely, totally detached from reality.  This means that now, not only do we here in the […]

Charitable Index Funds

Mail Bag: Do You Still Hold Index Funds in Your Charitable Foundation?

It’s been a long time, but here’s an update on the charitable foundation … Mr. Kennon, Unless I missed it, I believe it has been many years since you talked about your foundation (foundations?) and the passive investment approach you use for it/them.  Do you still buy index funds?  Has anything changed?  I enjoy hearing […]

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