March 31, 2015

Mail Bag: Should Homeschooling Be Illegal Like In Germany or a Constitutional Right Like in Italy?

Jazz Hands Clapping Banned

Hmm .... Joshua, Countries such as Germany and Spain make homeschooling illegal, putting the kids before the parents. Other countries, such as Italy, consider it a fundamental right and guarantee it in the constitution, putting the parents before the kids. Which do you think is right? Iya This is one of those things that remains on my "too hard" pile at present because I'm dissatisfied with the trade-offs, unable to determine which I think does the least damage.  Instead, what I'll … [Read more...]

The Credit Suisse Global Investment Return Yearbook 2015 Edition Is Now Free Online

Credit Suisse Global Investment Return Yearbook 2015

Earlier tonight, I published a piece called The Best Stocks To Buy Are Historically Found in a Handful of Industries over at, which at around 3,000+ words, examined the research we discussed recently out of Wharton that looked at the original S&P 500 components in the 50 years following their establishment in 1957 and the end date in 2003.  I have some of the more advanced notes that aren't at all appropriate for beginners, which I plan on publishing on this site as I think some of … [Read more...]

Janitor Ronald Read Leaves Behind $8,000,000 Secret Fortune

Ronald Read Janitor Millionaire Secret

Get ready to add yet another secret millionaire to your case study files.  Ronald Read passed away last June at 92 years old.  The Brattleboro, Vermont man, who had no college education and drove a Toyota Yaris, always made a point of living below his means.  He spent many years working as a gas station attendant and the rest of his career a janitor for his local J.C. Penney department store. Read was a near perfect archetype of the academic research done by men like the late Dr. Thomas J. Sta … [Read more...]

The Mathematics of Diversification and Wealth Building

The Home Depot Stock Certificate Diversification

I've written about the fact that very few American families invest in stock directly.  For every 100 families in the United States, only 15.1 hold shares outright, rather than through a conduit like a mutual fund.  Of that 15.1% sub-group, 29.2% (or 4.41% of all households) are invested in only a single stock, 53.0% (or 8.00% of all households) held stock in only two through nine firms, and 17.8% (or 2.69% of all households) held stock in ten or more companies.  The upsetting part is, of those st … [Read more...]

Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

Bring the Finished Butternut Squash Soup Up to a Simmer on Medium High Heat

When we were down in Florida, our friend, Karen, had some butternut squash puree in the refrigerator the chef, Sebastian, had left for her and Blake as he didn't need it.  She used it to make herself a butternut squash soup for lunch one day after coming back from a run.  I hadn't thought much about it but during one of the recent trips to the grocery store, we passed the butternut squashes and I put one in the cart on a whim because it's one of the few mainstream vegetables we've never used.  I … [Read more...]

Mail Bag: How to Read Large Numbers on Financial Statements

Mail Bag Joshua Kennon Pen

A question about reading numbers on financial statements ... My seemingly dumb business administration 102 professor has made what I think is a huge error on grading my last midterm, my question is as follows. On a balance sheet that is stated in terms of millions there is the number $74,000 (according to her) that number is equal to 74,000,000 dollars. Is this correct? My previous understanding was that $74,000 on a balance sheet in millions would be equivalent to 74,000,000,000. [Name and … [Read more...]

Flow Raised $5,576,533 (and Still Counting) in 16 Days By Selling an Idea

Flow Honey System Crowdsource

Barely more than two weeks ago, a father and son put their idea for a new honey extracting beehive design on a crowdfunding site.  They called their product Flow™ and wanted to raise $70,000.  With 26 days remaining before the funding deadline, they've already received $5,576,533 in promised cash from 12,781 donors. Quite a few beekeepers are livid, if you check out the YouTube comments, saying there are fundamental flaws with the nature of the design and hive health but, economically, I'm not … [Read more...]

Crown Maple Syrup from Madava Farms Should Be In Your Pantry (and a Case Study for Your Entrepreneurial Files)

Crown Maple Syrup Colors Joshua Kennon

After my recent semi-annual rant on the sorry condition of the maple syrup industry in the United States, which began with our discussion of the food industry polluting its products last Autumn, it should come as no surprise that, lately, we've been on a quest to find the ideal luxury maple syrup; honest-to-goodness, real, from-the-Earth maple tree sap with nothing else added that will become our go-to syrup for enjoying with breakfast, cooking in recipes, or using as a sugar substitute when the … [Read more...]

The S&P 500’s Dirty Little Secret

S&P 500 Methdology

Imagine you live on a little island.  On this island, there is an Italian restaurant that you adore.  Once a week, you go to this place and order chicken cacciatore.  It's made with the best ingredients and the quality is top-notch.  It's so good that, over many years, more and more customers are attracted to the restaurant as high rises are built on the sandy beaches of your formerly quiet home. The increased demand for chicken cacciatore, coupled with the limited local agricultural supply of … [Read more...]

You Can Get Free Pancakes If You Go to IHOP Today!

Free IHOP Pancakes

March 3rd, 2015, is the 10th anniversary of National Pancake Day.  If you head to an IHOP, you can get free pancakes.  They ask, but you are not required, to make a donation to charity in lieu of paying for your meal, with the goal being to raise $3,500,000 this year for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. You might want to consider bringing your own maple syrup, though.  As you know, one of the few things in life that irritates me to no end is the (what I consider) stupidity of the panc … [Read more...]