March 30, 2015

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Ronald Read Janitor Millionaire Secret

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

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 Home Depot Stock Certificate Diversification

The Mathematics of Diversification and Wealth Building

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% […]

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

Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

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 […]

Mail Bag Joshua Kennon Pen

Mail Bag: How to Read Large Numbers on Financial Statements

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 […]

Flow Honey System Crowdsource

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

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 […]

Crown Maple Syrup Colors Joshua Kennon

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

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 […]

S&P 500 Methdology

The S&P 500’s Dirty Little Secret

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 […]

Free IHOP Pancakes

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

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 […]

PepsiCo 1982 Investment

Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola Investment Returns Over My Lifetime

When Aaron and I were at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, we thought about buying our niece and nephews some gifts from the retail store but ultimately decided to give them something more valuable: Stock.  We’ll make another transfer to the custodianships I setup last year, modeled partly after the one we established for […]

Warren Buffett 1962

The Earliest Known Clip of Warren Buffett Unearthed

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 […]

Jocelyn and Erika Raglan Road Downtown Disney

Lunch at Raglan Road in Walt Disney World with Old Friends

On the way back from spending the week with friends, Blake and Karen, on Captiva Island, we decided to take a detour to meet up with two other old friends we don’t get to see very often, who happened to be at Walt Disney World.  We were heading toward Tampa and re-routing to Orlando would only a […]

Captiva Florida Gulf of Mexico

Visiting Our Friends at Otter Banks on Captiva Island

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 […]

World of Coca-Cola Admission Tickets

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

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 […]

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 […]

President Obama Foreign Tax Increase Proposal

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

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 […]

QVC The Moon a Planet or Star

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

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 […]

Even More Posts

Mail Bag Joshua Kennon Pen

Mail Bag: 30-Year Treasury Bond Prices

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 […]

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

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

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 – […]

Unequal States Inome By State

How Much Money Does It Take to Be In the Top 1% 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 […]

Houang Stephane
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 […]