July 25, 2014

Most Recent Post

Finished Pain de mie sandwich bread from Pullman pan

Baking Pain de mie Bread in Pullman Pans

I normally like richer, specialty breads – the heavy kind you find in some European bread shop, each for its own purpose and recipe – but a recent trip to the grocery store made me curious about the type of ordinary bread most Americans are eating.  After looking at the nutrition label of several major baking companies, […]

Mail Bag Joshua Kennon Pen

Mail Bag: Shorting Stocks

A question about shorting stocks … Hi Joshua,As always, thanks for creating articles on your thoughts, investigations, and financial wisdom. I was hoping you might be so kind as to share your thoughts on short positions as an inherently speculative proposition. Have you ever shorted an equity? Are there any case studies you might recommend […]

McDonald's Counter In New Store Copyright Joshua Kennon

Dealing with Business Rejection, the McDonald’s Franchise Disclosure Document, and a $114 Million Coffee Fortune

From time to time, I get messages from business owners or entrepreneurs who are discouraged and upset.  Their family, friends, colleagues, bank officers, or suppliers don’t believe in what they are trying to do and they take it personally.  This afternoon, as I sat in a McDonald’s restaurant having coffee and revisiting an excellent book […]

Pan Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna Is Not My Thing

We have been trying new recipes, again.  One of the dishes that was on the list was a skillet lasagna.  It’s popular because you can take ingredients you have at home and quickly put together a home cooked meal without a lot of effort.  I was hesitant because, in my opinion, the entire appeal of […]

Wal-Mart Dividend Reinvestment Example

Economic Reality Isn’t Always Reflected on Your Account Statements

There is an account I handle for someone I know that has a very unique mandate.  It holds a handful of stocks, has practically zero turnover, and once a new position is acquired, the dividends must be automatically reinvested into that business, cost-free, until disposition.  The entire portfolio is held within a Roth IRA and this person […]

Studying McDonald's annual report

The Anniversary, Annotating Annual Reports, and Trying to Make Myself Be Productive …

I was hoping to respond back to a few dozen comments to which I have been meaning to reply, as well as post some mail bag questions, but I think I’m going to put that off until this afternoon and, instead, go out to lunch or go see a movie or something.  Today’s our 13th anniversary, which hearing […]

Customer Service

Listen to the Customer Service Phone Call from Hell

For several years, I’ve been firmly convinced that the Internet providers need to be shattered like the old Ma Bell system.  They have a near complete monopoly that encourages them to avoid capital expenditures while providing sub-par service, making Internet here in the United States a joke compared to most other major developed countries which, […]

General Electric Schenectady

I Nearly Doubled the General Electric Stake in the KRIP

Sometimes, it can seem as if we are living in a through-the-looking-glass investment world.  With the Federal Reserve having kept us in a near-zero percent interest rate environment for so long, asset prices are … quirky … to say the least.  Couple this with the psychological influence of the Great Recession, where certain types of […]

Washington Post Story

High School Couple Exchanges Explicit Photos of Themselves. The Boy (and Only the Boy) Is Now Being Charged with Manufacturing and Possession of Child Pornography

You have to read this Washington Post story.  This is the most insane thing I’ve seen in a major newspaper in a long time and it gets even more insane when you realize the extent of stupidity and incompetence of the police department and the prosecutors.  The sexism and bigotry for this kind of double […]


The Mental Models of Cultural Hits – From Spongebob Square Pants to the Golden Girls

After my post on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air earlier, I began thinking about the media industry.  One of the things I find most fascinating when studying history, businesses, mental models, and the human experience, is the unexpected cultural phenomenon.  There are certain things that happen, at certain moments in time, that are only […]

Will Smith Older Than Uncle Phil

Will Smith Is Now Several Years Older Than Uncle Phil Was at the Beginning of Fresh Prince

If you want to feel old, take a few minutes to read this list of 43 charming items, including such factoids as 1998 is now as far away as the year 2030 is or that Squeezit drinks haven’t been manufactured by General Mills for over 13 years.  Oh, yeah, and the people entering high school this year? […]

McDonalds Corporation Official Press 50th Anniversary Chicago Restaurant

An Update to the KRIP Portfolio: Microsoft vs. McDonald’s

One of the best risk management techniques I learned from reading Benjamin Graham‘s works early in my life was that of horizontal risk shifting.  That is, taking similarly priced assets in your portfolio and looking to find other assets with the same or better return profile (after adjusting for deferred tax benefits and switching costs) […]

Schlitterbahn Verrukt Waterslide Kansas City

Verrückt, The World’s Tallest Waterslide, Opening in Kansas City Tomorrow

In less than 24 hours, Verrückt, the largest waterslide in the world, will open in the Schlitterbahn waterpark here in Kansas City, making it big news around these parts.  Situated across the street from one of the world’s largest retail stores, Nebraska Furniture Mart, I’ve been watching this thing during constructing and can safely say the German name – which […]

Yahoo Dividend Error

Yahoo Finance Is Calculating the Dividend Yield Incorrectly on Some Stocks (And a Note on Royal Dutch Shell’s Scrip Dividend Program)

It’s happening, again.  The major financial portals are displaying errors, which I still don’t see discussed.  Look at the quotation for Royal Dutch Shell Class B.  The per share dividend is $3.44 on a market price of $87.20.  That is a dividend yield of 3.94%.  Yet, the quote page is displaying a yield of 5.30%. […]

Dow 36,000

My Quarterly Project: Studying Counter-Evidence in Economics and Sociology

During my free time for the next few months, I’m practicing “counter evidence” a la the John Stuart Mill school of thought.  This means reading some texts far outside of the mainstream on a wide range of topics, including a few of the most illogical, discredited, and frankly, unhinged, books, essays, and speeches you’ll ever encounter. […]

Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe

Mugabe Once Again Turns His Attention to Real Estate Assets of White Investors

A year ago this month, I wrote a mail bag response about what I would do as an investor if I lived in Zimbabwe.  In the midst of a long essay on the political environment, economic policies, minority persecution, and non-stable currency, I summed it up as follows: Simple.  One word. Emigrate. I’d get the hell […]

Even More Posts

P. Royer. La Marche des Scythes. Yago Mahugo, Harpsichord.

La Marche des Scythes

I’m working from my home study trying to get a bunch of stuff knocked off my agenda now that we are starting the 3rd quarter of the year but I have a certain passage from La Marche des Scythes in my head. I’ve been playing it on repeat at full blast as I go through […]

The Scent of Peace for Him Bond No 9

If You Like Creed’s Aventus, Go Buy a Bottle of Bond No. 9 The Scent of Peace for Him

You know I’m crazy about Creed Aventus, though I hardly wear it anymore because my mom has made it her daily fragrance.  She buys it by the huge flacon (they make a 17 ounce bottle now, which I think is going to be her next purchase) to get the substantial price breaks the perfume house […]

Deity Victory Civ 5

I Won My First Two Deity Victories in Civilization V

On June 26, 2014, I beat my first Deity game in Civ 5.  I decided to play a Highland map surrounded by mountains, huge, with maximum city states.  Luck of the draw pitted me against Genghis Khan, who was never able to march an army to my capital in time due to the long, almost […]

Capitalism Summed Up

Location, Location, Location

Remember rule number one on late billionaire Estee Lauder’s strategy list?  I just came across an exchange about the merits of Costco vs. Sam’s Club on this thread.  It sums up capitalism, consumer choice, and individual economic autonomy perfectly. Whether building a military fort or a fast food joint, location matters.  Paying more for the better […]

Eurotruck Simulator 2 Orange 1

Kennon Logistics Is Off to a Rough Start

My niece and nephew were over at the house a couple of days ago and I ended up playing Eurotruck Simulator 2 with them as I had picked it up during one of the past Steam sales.  In it, you want to start a freight company but you have no money so you take driving […]

Hobby Lobby Supreme Court

The Mess That Is the Hobby Lobby Case

The Hobby Lobby decision has been all over the news and it seems like everyone has an opinion on it (few people bothering to read the actual opinion from the Supreme Court).  Despite many messages from you asking my thoughts, I haven’t written about it for several reasons. I believe this is a case that never should have been […]

Burger King Stock

A Look at Burger King a Couple Years After the IPO

I spent part of my day studying the restaurant industry.  You all know that, personally, my family’s biggest restaurant stake is McDonald’s Corporation.  As I mentioned a week or two ago, I have shares of it tucked away in nearly all of my relative’s accounts, sometimes in multiple places.  I’m always paying attention to the other major […]

Estee A Success Story Estee Lauder Autobiography 1985

15 Rules for Success by Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder couldn’t get an ad agency to accept her company as a client because her budget was too small.  Facing rejection after rejection, she decided to take the $50,000 she had set aside for marketing and try something new.  Undeterred by the endless stream of “no”, she mailed direct samples to consumers, launched a virtually […]

Expression Contagion

Mental Model: Expression Contagion

Whether you are a business leader, running a non-profit, or even a weekday book club, one of the most dangerous assumptions you can make as a decision maker is believing that people implicitly agree with you.  A lot of folks mistake lack of opposition for consent or affirmation when that is not necessarily the case. […]

Refashionista Transform Two

Frugality Friday – Saving Money By Getting Your Clothes and Food for (Practically) Free

I stumbled across a blog called ReFashionista.  The woman who runs it goes to thrift shops and finds horrible old clothes and transforms them with her skills into new outfits that cost practically nothing.  The readers then vote on the results using a star system beneath the posts.  She has more than 225 pages of content showing […]