Investing is the process of putting aside money today in exchange for more money in the future. This process involves risk but, when well managed, can help grow your wealth over time due to the power of compounding. This is the investing archive that includes articles published on JoshuaKennon.com. If you are looking for more great content, visit Joshua’s Investing for Beginners site at About.com, a division of The New York Times.

Kennon-Green & Co. Global Asset Management, Wealth Management, and Investment Advisory

Silent Trust Funds and FAFSA Financial Aid

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

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”. It made me realize: I think a person could use these to drive a truck through the college financial aid process.

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BP Gas Station in Chicago

The Oil Tankers Are On Their Way

One of the tricks I use to think of the stocks I hold as real businesses, just like the operating companies we own, is to get a physical representation of the firm, putting it in an investment cabinet.  Now that I am building a 25-year energy portfolio as a personal side project for my household, I already have replica die cast oil tankers on their way from retailers and eBay.  I’m having a hard time finding a comparable quality Total SA tanker, if they are even manufactured.

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Energy, Oil, Natural Gas, Pipelines, Refining, Coal and Timber Investments Header

Energy, Oil, Natural Gas, Pipelines, Refining, Coal and Timber

One of the ways I manage my life is to sit in a room several times a year, staring off into the distance, and trying to imagine 5, 10, 15, 20, 30+ years in the future.  I ask myself what things I wish I had done when I was younger, what things I would have wanted to avoid, what risks I would have wanted to take, and what experiences I would have wanted to have. A topic that has come up several times during these exercises is the concept of energy assets.  A portfolio of energy assets is fundamentally different in nature than almost any other security, business, or holding.

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TreasuryDirect

If You Are Sitting on a Huge Pile of Cash, There Is Only One Place to Park It (and It Is Not In a Bank)

For the past day, I’ve been thinking about a 65 year old man named John Demetriou.  He was from Cyprus, but moved to Australia, where he spent 35 years working “days, nights and weekends in Sydney markets selling jewellery and imitation jewellery” according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Wanting to be in his home country, and…

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An Academic Example of Cash Flow Differing from Reported Earnings - McDonald's Corporation

A Quick Cash Flow Statement Lesson – A Look at How McDonald’s Real Payout Ratio Is 110%, Not 54% As First Appears

McDonald’s is one of those businesses that I love.  The last time we talked about it was when I wrote the 25 Year Investment Case Study of McDonald’s, and showed how you could have turned $100,000 into anywhere between $1,839,033 and $5,547,089 depending on how you handled dividend reinvestment and the Chipotle split-off back in 2006, and the sorely lacking media coverage of McDonald’s results in February.  No matter which way you look at it, despite periods of overvaluation and undervaluation, alternating with the underlying performance and the emotional moods of shareholders, McDonald’s has been a fantastic company.  It makes its employees and shareholders a lot of money.  It gives society something it wants, whether that be a plain salad with side of fresh fruit and a non-sweetened iced tea or a double cheeseburger with french fries and a Coca-Cola.

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Railroad Stocks - Historical Analysis

Union Pacific: A Company That Looked Expensive But Was Undervalued

The developments on the income statement and balance sheet of Union Pacific between 2005 and 2013 are an excellent example of why it is important for you to analyze data yourself, and come to conclusions based on reasonable, rational, intelligently organized facts.  The willingness to take action when others do not agree with you, and to have your action backed up by solid evidence, can make the difference between being comfortable and ending up rich.  Two of the world’s wealthiest titans demonstrated this truth, not only when buying shares of Union Pacific, but other railroads, as well.

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Morningstar Updates It Berkshire Hathaway Class B Intrinsic Value Estimate

Morningstar Is Getting Closer On Its Intrinsic Value Figure for Berkshire Hathaway

It’s been 1-2 years since we talked about the intrinsic value of Berkshire Hathaway.  The last time I publicly commented in any meaningful way was to say that I thought Morningstar was wrong in its model.  This put me in the interesting position that rarely happens: I thought intrinsic value was higher than the analysts who were publicly writing about it.  Normally, I’m the one exclaiming that the estimates and variables used were too rosy.

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Kennon-Green & Co. Global Asset Management, Wealth Management, and Investment Advisory