It would be a serious mistake in judgment to think of Dolly Parton as merely a singer and actress. She is much more. Over the past 50 years, she has become one of the most adept investors in the world, with a portfolio of operating assets spanning everything from theme parks and hotels to media production…
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 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 occasion calls for something with a different flavor profile.
I’ve done case studies in the past of slower growing, highly profitable businesses such as Clorox, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Colgate-Palmolive among them. We’ve also discussed case studies of some initial public offerings, such as an investment in Tiffany & Company twenty-five years ago. I thought it might be interesting to look at another…
As I write this message, it is January 2nd, 2021. Today marks the second day of the new year, the thirteenth day since the start of winter, and the 13,987th day of my life. The holiday weekend afforded me something I haven’t had in a long time: a moment of respite as much of the world shut down for celebration. Well-rested, I’m ready to jump into the New Year. Here is an inside look at some of the things going on in our home and business as we gear up for a post-pandemic world.
Merry Christmas! I hope all of you are doing well and that your celebrations were filled with happiness, laughter, and good food! For our part, this year marked the 20th Christmas that Aaron and I have spent together. Like every one of those other Christmases, it was one of the best days of my life (despite the unusual circumstances and challenges this year has brought). We decided that with the world feeling so uncertain, and the need to remain socially distanced from others, it would be the perfect opportunity to stay home, wear knitted sweaters and jeans, and enjoy a classic early-to-mid twentieth century dinner; pure, old-school comfort food that envoked a sense of warmth and safety, friends and family, prosperity and peace.
A Round-Trip Flight from California to Kentucky and Reading Middlemarch, a Study of Provincial Life by George Eliot
The masterpiece Middlemarch, a Study of Provincial Life is considered by many literary critics and academics to be the greatest novel written in the history of the English language. A work of historical fiction, the story is set during the years 1829-1832 and follows the lives of the inhabitants of a fictional town, Middlemarch, as threads, both visible and invisible, weave the fate of their their homes, marriages, businesses, fortunes, happiness, and misery together.
You Can Special Order the “New Coke” Formula for a Limited Time as Part of a Netflix Stranger Things Product Tie-In
If you ever wanted to try the infamous “New Coke” that resulted in global boycotts of Coca-Cola when it briefly replaced the classic formula, now is your chance. Of course, me being me, this post ended up turning into an academic discussion about long-term investing including a mini-case study of Coke over the past 34 years.
It is not an exaggeration to say that most of my life and career has been spent reading, writing, and thinking. In many cases, I turned around and taught others a synthesized version of what I absorbed, putting my own spin on it. My favorite place in the world during childhood was the public library and even now, I am typing this post surrounded by enormous bookcases overflowing with volumes on everything from trust fund structures to biographies of oil and banking titans. Reading allows me to satisfy a nearly insatiable curiosity about the world. More than any other behavior, it has been responsible for my success.
Throughout your life and career, you are going to face many situations in which you are dissatisfied. Often, these situations will arise because of legitimate grievances you have about a person, behavior, policy, or system. There are a few strategies that, used judiciously, can exponentially increase your effectiveness.
I’ve received a significant number of requests over the past few months asking that I discuss what is happening with oil, natural gas, pipeline, and refining companies; to explain how I look at the situation and the sorts of things Aaron and I discuss when we’re allocating our own capital or the capital of those who have entrusted their assets to us. It’s a big topic with a lot of niche considerations but I want to take some time today to address the oil majors; the handful of mega-capitalization behemoths such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, ConocoPhillips / Phillips 66, and BP.