July 22, 2014

Tax Strategy Matters To Your Investment Portfolio


Some of you have written me asking why an investor wouldn't immediately sell an overvalued stock, moving money to undervalued holdings.  These questions picked up steadily once I revealed my turnover rate is practically non-existent in most years as I keep a shopping list of companies I want to own, wait for them to hit my price, then buy with the plan of holding them a very long time.  Although I've answered this question in the past, it sometimes helps to revisit and provide a new answer, il … [Read more...]

I Wish Warren Buffett Would Stop (Effectively) Lying About His Tax Rate

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report

Back when I was a child, and long before he was a household name, my hero was a businessman from an hour and a half north of my hometown named Warren Buffett.  His company was much smaller back then - he didn't even own all of GEICO! - and the very first time I read about him, there was only a single class of stock, trading at right around $10,000 per share.  I read everything I could about his company, which wasn't much (I didn't even know what he looked like for years as the Internet didn't e … [Read more...]

I Have to Earn $44.73 Pre-Tax Per Year Just To Keep My Coffee Pot Heated

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker Williams Sonoma

I'm getting the first data points back from the energy investigations.  Some of the the information surprises me and is resulting in my inner math nerd going into overdrive as I plot data and run scenarios. Here's an actual example: At the house, my family most often uses the Technivorm Clubline Moccamaster coffee machine, imported by Williams-Sonoma.  The design is so perfect, it's remained essentially unchanged for half a century.  It really makes the best pot of coffee out of any of the home … [Read more...]

The Energy Saving Investigation Continues!

Kill-a-Watt Electricity Reader

Thank you all for the amazing comments and suggestions you left on my post about my investigative project with the weird kWh figures I was getting from my utility company.  I've been so obsessed with the project I haven't had time to write individual responses, but I did read every one of them and, in many cases, add it to a task list to check and / or immediately go out and spend some cash on a device that could help narrow down the problem.  For example, I now have Kill-a-Watt measurements b … [Read more...]

I Think Someone Is Stealing My Electricity … or the Power Company Is Making Up Numbers

Joshua Kennon Energy Usage

Okay, it's not that I think someone is stealing my electricity per se, it is that I have eliminated nearly all other possibilities and have narrowed the situation down to a handful of unlikely scenarios that are the only ones left left on the table.  At this point, I'm simply baffled and unable to make the numbers work which is, itself, an unusual experience for me. Let me back up and provide some context.  As part of the technology and minimalism projects, I'm getting all of my household data c … [Read more...]

Don’t Silent Trust Funds Constitute a Massive Loophole in Financial Aid Calculations?

Silent Trust Funds

My morning was spent reading the New Hampshire Bar Journal, Winter 2010 edition because I was interested in a piece by Joseph F. McDonald, III called Migrating Trusts to New Hampshire: The "Why" and the "How".  New Hampshire, along with a very few other states, allows the existence of something known as a "silent trust" or "quiet trust".  These trust funds, the distribution rules, the total assets, and much more can be kept from the beneficiary.  Theoretically, you could leave $10,000,000 in a si … [Read more...]

My Prescription for Making Money, Portfolio Management, and Getting Rich

Buffett Associates, Ltd.

There has been a significant influx of new readers due to some popular articles.  As a result, I think it's time to rehash my general philosophy for how to make money successfully.  I prefer real-world examples, because they are understandable and relatable, so let's take a look at the only remaining original Dow Component, the original blue chip stock, General Electric.  I'm thinking about adding some more shares of GE to the KRIP portfolio later this year, so it will serve to walk you through h … [Read more...]

Saving Money Tip – I Figured Out How to Get 67.6% Off at Restaurants Thanks to UPromise

Godfather Pizza Upromise Savings

If there were a money saving olympics, I would be Michael Phelps.  I thought it would be interesting to delve into some of the lesser known areas of the Upromise program (clicking that link will let you see my shopping deals so you can get an idea of how great the discounts are and make me a little money if you happen to buy anything) now that there is a temporary "college savings month" promotion giving bigger rewards on purchases made before April 30th.  I found the link for Restaurant.com, whi … [Read more...]

One of the Most Important Lessons About Life and Making Money You Can Ever Learn

Roy Cullen

In 1927, Hugh Roy Cullen was approached by Jim West, a wealthy lumberman who had invested in projects with Cullen in the past.  On a Saturday, West called Cullen to his downtown Houston office, where he made the following offer: I've got $3,000,000 lying around.  And I've got the West Production Company, which don't amount to much.  I'll put the $3,000,000 in my oil company, and give you one-fourth interest - if you'll go in with me.  You'll be president - and have complete charge of the com … [Read more...]

Mail Bag: How To Save Money on $40,000 Per Year


I'm going to walk you through how I'd save money if I were a typical 25 year old with a spouse and one kid on a $40,000 salary.   Joshua, (Referencing this post, which talked about how a typical family could use $197 per paycheck to end up with $4,300,000 over a lifetime.) lets look at real life40000 x 0.72= 28800 don't forget city taxes 28800x0.0225=648 = 28152/12=2346/monthA couple with 1 child will spend500 for food300 for gas and electric400 for car payment120 for gas for car900 for … [Read more...]