Joshua Kennon is a Managing Director of Kennon-Green & Co.
, a private asset management firm specializing in global value investing for affluent and high net worth individuals, families, and institutions. Nothing in this article or on this site, which is Mr. Kennon's personal blog, is intended to be, nor should it be construed as, investment advice, a recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell a security or securities. Investing can result in losses, sometimes significant losses. Prior to taking any action involving your finances or portfolio, you should consult with your own qualified professional advisor(s), such as an investment advisor, tax specialist, and/or attorney, who can help you consider your unique needs, circumstances, risk tolerance, and other relevant factors.
Walter Schloss, a legendary value investor who learned directly from Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, never graduated from college and was hired as a runner on Wall Street in 1934, at the age of 18. Schloss enrolled in the New York Stock Exchange Institute, where he took courses from Benjamin Graham on how to value businesses, find value stocks, and manage money. Using the lessons he learned there, Schloss launched his own value investing fund in 1955, with a starting balance of $100,000, eventually growing to manage money for as many as 92 investors. For more than 50 years, he earned a 15.3% compounded annual rate of return, turning a $10,000 initial investment into $12,344,268, far outstripping the 10% return offered by the S&P 500 during the same period, which would have resulted in only $1,173,909.
In addition to penning several of the most important value investing books in history, Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, was one of the two partners in the Graham Newman Corporation, the investment fund through which he put money to work. It was at this firm that Warren Buffett worked early in his career, learning from the master. As he amassed an astounding investing record, Graham divided his portfolio into several categories, or “operations”. These served value investing students well for more than seventy years and some still have value today.
Citing data provided by Vanguard, one of the premier mutual fund and 401(k) providers in the world, The New York Times recently reported that 60 percent of 401(k) accounts now have more money in them than they did before the stock market crash and worst recession since the Great Depression began two years ago.
A family member recently used dollar cost averaging and the power of compounding in such a creative way, that I thought it would be useful to share it. This technique, which he developed after studying the various returns available on different asset classes, was designed to show that two factory workers, both earning the same salary, paying the same taxes, and having the same expenses, could end up with vastly different levels of wealth based on what they did with their surplus cash each month. Let’s take a look at this dollar cost averaging technique and how he hopes it will help him earn several extra hundred thousand dollars in profit over the coming decades.
Whether or not a business can lavish employees and owners with huge bonuses, paychecks, dividend checks, and profits on a sustainable basis depends upon one metric and one metric only: operating profit per employee.
Pension costs and calculations are one of those areas a lot of people don’t think about in their day-to-day lives but it can be really interesting if you love investing and are mathematically inclined. It’s also important as a voter given the political implications should your municipality find itself in a pension funding crisis.
A family member came by today and the course of the conversation got me thinking about the reasons that I have managed to achieve everything I set out to do with far less effort than should be required, and succeed, whereas most people never do. One of the secrets, I think, comes down to the way I frame questions.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been toying with paid search at our e-commerce businesses. We’ve always had great success with organic search and, in many cases, dominate our keywords leading to terrific sales at a very low cost. However, with paid search, we weren’t as familiar with the mechanics and the best way to get a high conversion rate. We approved a budget to test out the process and learn in a trial-by-error format.
Those who talk about “the left” or “right right” when it comes to politics or political theory are often missing a very important point. The best illustration comes from horseshoe political theory, which states that opposing sides of an issue are more like the ends of a horseshoe. In other words, their belief in the right to force their will on the populace is just as strong with the only difference being the specific beliefs they are espousing. Instead of being complete opposites on a spectrum, they sit side by side.
Aaron decided to make a vanilla cake with strawberry drizzle, fresh blueberries, roasted peaches, and whipped cream for our guests from Ohio and it was enjoyable. I got a serving of it tonight and took a picture of it with my iPhone. The recipe came from a cookbook I picked up at Borders that specialized…