February 27, 2015

The Earliest Known Clip of Warren Buffett Unearthed

Warren Buffett 1962

It is absolutely nuts to me to see this clip of Warren Buffett that was discovered.  In it, he was just shy of 32 years old, roughly the same age I am now.  He was completely unknown outside a tiny circle of people, though rich, wasn't one of the richest men in the country (let alone world!) and this was the year he dissolved his six or so partnerships so he could merge them into a single partnership, setting up office in Kiewit Plaza, where he remains to his day.  Which, I imagine, was a slight … [Read more...]

Visiting Our Friends at Otter Banks on Captiva Island

Captiva Florida Gulf of Mexico

After we visited The World of Coke at the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, we traveled another 600 miles to Captiva, an island off the coast of Florida where we'll be staying for the rest of the week.  Our friends Karen and Blake got married - you met them years ago when we had dinner at The California Grill at Walt Disney World; we've known Karen since we met as freshman in college 14 years ago - and they rented this amazing gated estate called Otter Banks sitting right on the wa … [Read more...]

On Holy Ground: We Visited the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia

World of Coca-Cola Admission Tickets

We woke up in Atlanta, Georgia this morning and decided to go to one of the most sacred spots in the entire Western Hemisphere: The World of Coca-Cola.  What might appear as a mere beverage to some is practically a cult in the South.  Coke reigns over this city like royalty thanks to the fact its shares are stuffed in trust funds that have been handed down for generations among wealthy families; are sitting on the balance sheets of non-profits, hospitals, and universities; are pumping out cash d … [Read more...]

I’m Okay!

I'm Okay

I've been away from the site for awhile and I see there are a few dozen comments I need to read (if you wrote me something and haven't received a response, yet, I'll try and get to it either tonight or tomorrow).  There were some business matters to which I had to attend that required my full attention but the paperwork is signed and archived so now I can get back to the regularly scheduled program.  It's been a good year thus far but I have a lot to finish before April.  I'm a bit concerned abou … [Read more...]

About That Proposed One-Time $280 Billion Tax on Foreign Corporate Profits …

President Obama Foreign Tax Increase Proposal

President Obama's administration has announced that he wants to impose a one-time tax levy of up to 14% on the $2 trillion in foreign profits American companies have built up and not repatriated in exchange for making repatriation on future foreign profits that were subject to at least a 19% tax rate tax-free, encouraging domestic investment. While the second goal is admirable if one wants to stop American companies from jumping ship to our allies - Canada, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland … [Read more...]

Watch QVC Hosts Debate Whether the Moon is a Planet or Star (and a Lesson on Basic Economics)

QVC The Moon a Planet or Star

If you need something to brighten up your day (or make you feel despondent depending on how you look at it), this is living proof that all you have to do to be successful in life is give people what they want at a price that is higher than the cost it takes you to deliver it to them, with sufficient margins for risk, capital tie-up, and opportunity cost.  You can literally fail 3rd grade science and, if you satisfy a want, make six, seven, or even eight figures a year.  The system we have now fo … [Read more...]

Mail Bag: 30-Year Treasury Bond Prices

Mail Bag Joshua Kennon Pen

It seems about that time, once a year, when we talk about long-term Treasury bond yields. Mr. Kennon, How much money have you made since 2010 shorting the 30 year treasury bond? What is your prediction for 2015? Thank you, Fred R. Fred, Earlier this month, I broke out our five-year performance record.  We ended the period at 23.39% compounded annually, which was a +10.77% annual spread over the aggressive benchmark our custody agent assigns us as a measurement tool, a +7.94% an … [Read more...]

Wendy’s Chili Recipe (and a Business Lesson from Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas)

Stir the chili pot together and turn the heat up to medium

Back when Dave Thomas left his discipleship of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame to go off and start the hamburger chain that we now know as Wendy's (which he named for his daughter, Melinda) one of my favorite things he did was find a way to reduce waste - and thus costs - while increasing revenue by introducing a chili recipe on the menu.  The freshly made hamburgers that had not been sold in time were added to a simmering pot, broken down, and still converted to profit rather … [Read more...]

How Much Money Does It Take to Be In the Top 1% By State?

Unequal States Inome By State

We've had fun over the years answering the question, "How much money does it take to be in the top 1%?" and even looked at the breakdown of how the top 1%, as a class, generates its money.  If you enjoyed those posts, hold on to your seat because there is a new report out that details income statistics by state for the purpose of looking at income inequality. While the document itself engages in the sort of dishonesty I talked about in lies, damned lies, and statistics (e.g., looking at the me … [Read more...]

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

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

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 are just two, randomly chosen, that sum up the gist of what my inbox looked like on January 15th and 16th. First off, I would like to thank you for your time and for being so willing to share your knowledge of bu … [Read more...]