On a recent late-night restocking run to the store, Aaron and I were walking down an aisle when we suddenly spotted something that, outside of a handful of enclaves, has been missing in action or relegated to back corners for decades: A product called Noxzema. For almost three-quarters of a century, the stuff was ubiquitous, found in nearly every home and an absolute must-have on any shopping trip taken by nearly any American family. The business story behind the Noxema fortune is a fascinating one.
I’ve publicly written many times about my extreme discomfort with the direction of certain technological innovations; how, left unchecked without explicit guarantees of privacy, they could lead to what one Supreme Court justice described as a turn-key totalitarian state. In the wrong hands, there would be nowhere to run, no place to hide. It’s not…
I’ve been thinking about the story that has captivated the country over the past two days – how, if various news reports are to be believed, Dr. Walter J. Palmer of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, owner of a practice called River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, Minnesota, and two of his guides poached the beloved Cecil the Lion from a national park in Zimbabwe, luring him from the sanctuary where he was protected, injuring him with an arrow before tracking him for two days, shooting him, beheading him, skinning him, and leaving the body behind with plans to mount the trophy in his office.
I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom of speech, and the first amendment in general, lately. Between the uproar over the Confederate Battle Flag, an unprecedented user and moderator revolt at Reddit after the decision to shut down certain groups (the CEO, whom many blame for the ugly affair, wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post), a very vocal minority of Americans upset about the Supreme Court granting equality to gay Americans in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, and world-class comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock publicly airing their concern about the sanitation of humor for fear of offending people, talk shows, newspapers, radio programs, books, and blogs have all been discussing the limits of personal expression to which an American is entitled under our constitution.
You may already know the Census Bureau data shows there are 115,610,216 households in the United States and, that, as per the Federal Reserve data, roughly 1 out of every 5 of these households earns $100,000 or more per year; that 1 out of every 25 of them has a net worth of $1,000,000 or more. What about substantial wealth excluding houses, cars, furniture, jewelry … actual investment portfolios stuffed with cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts, master limited partnerships, tax-lien certificates, or any of the other numerous securities one can own to compound capital?
Back in 2011, I did a 20-year case study of Colgate-Palmolive. Global events have conspired in such a way that it can now serve as a perfect illustration of a valuation conundrum: While not cheap, Colgate-Palmolive is significantly cheaper for a long-term owner than the price-to-earnings ratio alone would have you believe. In fact, despite having what appears to be a 26.54 p/e ratio, it’s slightly undervalued to its private market value could you get your hands on the entire empire. It’s a rare thing to be able to talk about a gem like this under conditions such as these so I’m not going to let the opportunity pass. Dust off your powdered wigs, take out your walking cane, and travel back with me to post-Revolutionary America.
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…
We Survived an Influx of Roughly 187,000 Reddit Users Caused By an Old Post on Secret Coca-Cola Millionaires
As tends to happen once every year or two, the unexpected “make the front page of Reddit” event occurred last night, in the midst of the site renovations; an inopportune time but I’ll take it. Aaron and I were watching Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell on iTunes at around 2 a.m. when I saw the MySQL server straining under an incredible amount of requests. It was the old post about the secret Coca-Cola millionaires in Quincy, Florida. Something like 90 requests a second were slamming the data center up in Michigan. Traffic source: Reddit. Short investigation later, turns out it became the number one post of the “Today I Learned” subreddit and made the overall front page of the site.
A recent experience involving my four-year-old nephew made me appreciate how powerful marketing is in motivating consumer behavior.
Marriage Equality Declared a Fundamental, Constitutional Right: My Personal Reaction to Obergefell v. Hodges
Marriage Equality Declared a Fundamental, Constitutional Right: My Personal Reaction to Obergefell v. Hodges It’s been almost a week since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges declaring marriage equality a fundamental right under both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. I’ve…