Hurricanes with Female Names Kill More Deadly

Study Claims Hurricanes with Female Names More Deadly Because People Take Them Less Seriously

Whether identifying changes in public policy that could do exponential good or revealing internal assumptions about the way the world works, mental models are the best construct I’ve ever come across to categorize, analyze, study, document, and reflect upon the universe.  Yesterday, The Washington Post published an example of cognitive bias when it detailed how how subconscious beliefs can…

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Lobby The Langham Huntington Pasadena California Hotel

The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena

We are staying The Langham Huntington in Pasadena. It’s a very cool, old hotel with a unique history sitting on 23 acres. The gift shop sells a book detailing the timeline, which I bought and hope to get to later. For now, I’ll paraphrase Wikipedia: It was originally constructed in 1907 by civil war veteran General Wentworth. Four years later, railroad tycoon Henry Huntington – we visited his home and gardens earlier today – bought it and, within 36 months, had it reopened under his name.

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Conchita Wurst

What Bearded Ladies Can Teach Us About 18th Century Borda Count Voting Systems and Making Money

The Washington Post this morning had a story about the political discontentment in Russia over the outcome of the 2014 Eurovision competition.  Given that a few days ago, I outright said I’d personally emigrate were I living in Russia, this confluence of events is particularly timely.  I’m going to use it as an excuse to talk about something known…

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St Basils Cathedral Russia

To The 1,850~ of You Who Live in Russia, I Offer a Serious Suggestion: Emigrate. Now.

When I wrote this post a year ago predicting the decline of individual freedom in Russia, I never could have imagined how far the country would descend in a mere eleven months.  In addition to the Ukraine conflict, the anti-free speech laws that make it a crime to insult certain religious beliefs, the criminalization of any outward…

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Chris Browne

Famed Value Investor Christopher Browne’s Estate Becomes Most Expensive Home In American History At $145,000,000

One of the most famous value investors of the past 100 years was a man named Christopher H. Browne.  His father started a small firm, Tweedy, Browne & Company, that was Benjamin Graham’s stockbroker.  It was through Tweedy Browne that Warren Buffett bought his personal shares of Berkshire Hathaway, taking control of the textile mill he would…

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Tesla Motors showroom in Munich, Germany

New Jersey Bans Tesla to Protect Car Dealer Monopolies

Tesla Motors, the Silicon Valley-based electronic car company that has revolutionized energy efficient vehicles and become a cult icon, operates its business like Apple.  It designs amazing products, then sells them direct-to-consumers through specialty branded stores, staffed with knowledgeable sales associates.  By cutting out the middleman, Tesla can pass more savings on to the consumer,…

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Berkshire Hathaway 2013 Annual Report

Warren Buffett Hints That Berkshire Hathaway Shares Are Cheap In Stockholder Letter

I’m taking it as a given that practically everyone who reads this site has already gone through Warren Buffett’s stockholder letter, which Berkshire Hathaway released today. Personally, I love how, for only the third or fourth time in his career, Buffett essentially provides enough mathematical evidence to say to people, “You’re a moron for not buying…

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Arizona Segregation Bill

Arizona Passes One of the First Segregation Laws In 50+ Years

It’s like people never learned anything from the Oklahoma Satanist case last year.  Unintended consequences matter.  Yet, it seems like people don’t build them into their behavioral models.  If you open that door, you’re not the only one that gets to walk through.  It’s so simple.  It’s so basic, yet people forget it time and…

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Winter Project

The 30 Day Secret Project Every One of You Should Adopt

I’ve been thinking about you this Christmas season.  This audience is unique.  Demographically, you represent a collection of men and women with far above average talents, connections, and resources.  The power you have to change lives in your own communities is huge.  A small amount of output, when you set your mind to it, can have a disproportionately large benefit…

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Coca-Cola Plant

How Thomas and Whitehead Used Synthetic Equity To Build Massive Fortunes, While Simultaneously Creating Thousands of Coca-Cola Millionaires in the United States

In the late 19th century, a man named Benjamin Franklin Thomas decided he wanted to be rich.  He became obsessed with business, investing, and finding a single opportunity that would set him up for life, allowing him to live off his capital.  According to Constance L. Hays in her book The Real Thing: Truth and Power…

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Dies Irae Principle

The Dies Irae Principle

I’ve been thinking about how differently people see the world and how that influences their view of events.  Something that rolls off one person’s back can cause another to spend a week sobbing in bed, barely able to contain their grief or embarrassment.  What is a minor setback to one person can be a career-ending…

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Douwe Egberts Acquisition

One of Europe’s Oldest and Most Secretive Families Has Been Using Its Private Holding Company To Buy Up The World’s Coffee Assets

I’ve watched in fascination over the past couple of years as German conglomerate Joh. A Benckiser has been quietly buying up the world’s leading coffee brands, acquiring Caribou Coffee for $340 million, Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $974 million, and my personal obsession, Douwe Egberts for $9.8 billion, among others.  The firm is the personal holding company of…

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Providence New American Kitchen Restaurant Kansas City Meatloaf

Dinner at The Providence New American Kitchen at the Hilton President in Downtown Kansas City

Aaron, Caleb, Tara, and I are in downtown Kansas City because later this evening, we are meeting Matthew and his wife Jaclynn at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City to see the premier of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.  Arriving early, we realized we hadn’t eaten anything and picked a nearby restaurant that had decent reviews; the Providence New American…

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Ku Hye-sun

Six Months. I Made It Six Months But I Fell Off the Korean Bandwagon … I’m 15 Hours Into 꽃보다 남자;

I’ve never smoked.  I hate the taste of alcohol.  I’ve never done drugs.  I did well in school and became successful at an early age.  I save way more than I spend, growing my family’s investments every year.  I’m far more productive than the typical person in my country.  Specifically, the average American spends a staggering…

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Pumpkin Spice Roll Cake

Birthdays, Rocks, Cooking School, Retirement Plans, and Late Night Work Sessions

You know that old television show 7th Heaven?  Sometimes, I think I live in it.  I was woken up this morning by my five-year-old niece, two-year-old-nephew, and grandmother (their great-grandmother) calling a phone I keep beside my bed.  She (my grandmother) was watching the kids; they missed us and wanted to talk since we hadn’t…

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United States Treasury Department Debt Ceiling

The Debt Ceiling 101 – An Explanation for the Average Person

It’s time we talk about the debt ceiling and what a debt ceiling default would mean for the United States.  I’ve avoided this conversation because I was hopeful we would never end up here, again, after the last round of stupidity.  I’ve also avoided discussing the on-going shutdown of the Federal Government, despite some strong…

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3 Parent Biological Children

The Secret 3-Parent Biological Children Born In the United States Are Now Teenagers

With the public suddenly seeming to notice that three-parent biological children are now a scientific possibility, The Telegraph is reporting, “A group of 34 European politicians, including eight British MPs and peers, has signed a declaration attacking plans which will make the UK the first country in the world to permit the new IVF technique.” Here’s the…

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Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Sauce

Swedish Meatballs and Lingonberry Sauce with Last Night’s Episode of Breaking Bad

After my mom, dad, and youngest sister stopped by this afternoon for banana birthday cake, my brother and, later, my sister-in-law, came over for dinner.  We ended up opting for Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce and chunky red potatoes, while Tara, Aaron, and I caught up on last night’s episode of Breaking Bad, which none…

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Mail Bag Questions and Comments for Joshua Kennon

Mail Bag: Cash Flow Versus EPS for Intrinsic Value Calculations

This is one of those inside-baseball questions that the serious, more-than-part-time investors out there will probably enjoy. Hi, Joshua.  I could read your blog all day.  Thanks for everything that you do. When I read your commentary on payout ratios, it seems to focus on EPS payout ratio, or dividend coverage.  I don’t understand why you don’t…

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Hawaii Overprint Bank Note

Hawaii Overprint Banknotes

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the military brass quickly came to the realization that if the islands were to be captured, the invading army would have access to a large amount of United States banknotes, held by individual citizens, businesses, banks, and institutions, which they could then use throughout the world as there was…

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Ayds Diet Pills

How the Mere Association Mental Model Destroyed a Perfectly Good Diet Business

In the 1930’s and 1940’s, the Carlay Company in Chicago, Illinois developed a candy coated dietary suppressant called Ayds.  It sold the business to Campana Corporation.  Campana was then sold to Dow Chemical.  In the 1960’s, Dow sold the business to Purex and hired legendary Hollywood stars and other celebrities to endorse the product.  In…

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Cool Words

Yeah, Right

Many decades ago, Oxford Philosophy of Language Professor J.L. Austin and Columbia philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser reportedly had this exchange: “In English,” Professor Austin said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can…

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