Supersitious Religious Beliefs

The 7 Great Cult Beliefs That Have Arisen Throughout Human History

Warning: This is the working essay I promised to release earlier tonight.  It deals with certain common cult beliefs that arise throughout human history and civilizations.  It contains mature themes, images, and concepts.  It was written for myself as a way to process and understand these recurring patterns.  Due to the length of the essay, I…

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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…

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Che Guevara

Unless You Are a Proud Bigot and Anti-Intellectualist, You Probably Shouldn’t Be Walking Around with Che Guevara On Your T-Shirt

I believe in wild, autonomous levels of individual freedom.  Provided you aren’t harming anyone, neither your neighbors nor the government have the moral authority to prevent you from seeking your own happiness.  It is immoral for parents to force their children into marriages, as still goes on in parts of the world.  It is immoral…

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Life in the United States

You Wouldn’t Realize How Amazing Life Is in the United States By the Media Coverage

I’ve been thinking about life in the United States.  We are a massive nation that generates $15 trillion in wealth every year.  We have consolidated assets (personal, corporate, and government) of more than $200 trillion.  Our natural resources are abundant.  Our military power immense.   Going further, take a moment to consider the following: The S&P…

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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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C. Everett Koop

One of the Great Pragmatists of the 20th Century Has Died: C. Everett Koop Passes Away at 96

C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States, has passed away.  He was 96 years old.  The devout, conservative, evangelical Christian born the grandchild of German immigrants was one of the great pragmatist of the past few generations, proving that a fact-based, rational approach to life can improve standard of living, reduce disease,…

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Book Recommendation: The Crash and Its Aftermath: A History of Securities Markets in the United States, 1929-1933 by Barrie A. Wigmore

In 1985, one of the greatest scholarly works ever penned on the Great Depression was published by Barrie A. Wigmore under the title The Crash and Its Aftermath: A History of Securities Markets in the United States, 1929-1933.  Using actual data from the period that took years to acquire, analyze, and interpret, Wigmore takes 751 pages…

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Cream and Butter Sauce with Romano Cheese Chicken and Sun Dried Tomato Closeup

Our Favorite Recipe for Blacked Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes with Romano Cheese, Cream, and Butter Sauce Tossed Into Fettuccine Noodles

A couple of nights ago, we tried another recipe adapted from the famous Marcella Hazan Italian cookbook.  It involved a cream and butter sauce, and was one of the original versions of Fettuccine Alfredo recipes brought to the United States. [mainbodyad]In our case, we were experimenting with different flavors and combinations so we changed it…

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Running an Investment Case Study on Eastman Kodak Including the Bankruptcy

An Investment Case Study of Eastman Kodak: How the Bankruptcy of One of America’s Oldest Blue Chip Stocks Would Have Turned Out for Long-Term Investors

A Case Study of Eastman Kodak How the Bankruptcy of One of America’s Oldest Blue Chip Stocks Would Have Turned Out for Long-Term Investors One year ago, Kodak declared bankruptcy after more than 130 years in business as a leading blue chip firm that gushed profits for its owners.  I wrote Kodak’s demise at the…

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Did Leona Helmsley Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder? I have no idea. There can be little doubt that she displayed some traits that were narcissistic.

A Study In Paradox: Leona Helmsley Illustrates That Destructive Traits Such as Narcissism Can Sometimes Lead to Fantastic Life Results

This is the second in a three-part post on narcissism; the topic du jour for our mental model study. We’ve been talking about narcissism for the past few days and one interesting thread that comes up throughout history is that narcissism, despite being horribly destructive and disruptive, can work, in rare situations, in the favor…

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Jamaican Rum and Caramel Cooking Banana Slices

Gordon Ramsay’s Scotch Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas

The front page of Reddit yesterday had a Gordon Ramsay recipe for Scotch Pancakes with Caramelized Banana.  For my fellow Americans, that translates into a dessert made of buttermilk pancakes drizzled in caramelized bananas that had been flambéed in a dark Jamaican rum topped with vanilla bean ice cream.   [mainbodyad]Any time you combine fire with a drink made famous by…

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America Forgot Many Valuable Lessons When It Moved from the Farms to the Cities

A few hours ago, I finished writing a piece about global investing through a Roth IRA, which was published to the About.com network.  It got into some of the complexities of foreign investing, including the differences between share classes domiciled in various markets and currency translations.  As I was thinking about whether there was anything…

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Warren Farrell University of Toronto Protest

The Warren Farrell Protest at the University of Toronto: An Example of How Not to Behave If You Want To Be Successful In Life

On this site, we strive to practice the philosophy of John Stuart Mill, who would eagerly read every side of an argument because he wanted to se that “no scattered particles of important truth are buried and lost in the ruins of exploded error”.  That means we each have a fundamental, moral duty to openly…

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Mental Model by Joshua Kennon

Mental Model: Mere Exposure Effect or the Familiarity Principle

Mental Model: Mere Exposure Effect or the Familiarity Principle The mere exposure effect, also known as the familiarity principle, describes a phenomenon that causes humans to rate or feel positively about things to which they are frequently and consistently exposed, including other people.  All else equal, you will buy products, invest in stocks, frequent establishments,…

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Papa Johns Franchise

Peyton Manning Borrows the Jamal Mashburn and Ulysses Bridgeman, Jr Investing Playbook By Investing in Papa Johns Franchises

Feel good story for the day: Peyton Manning, the 36 year old legendary quarterback, bought 21 Papa John franchises in the Denver area a couple of weeks ago, according to Bloomberg.  It looks like he is borrowing from the Jamal Mashburn and Ulysses Bridgeman, Jr. playbook.  Those two former sports stars took their paychecks and, as…

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Example of Cartogram

Remember To Use Cartograms for Business, Political, and Socioeconomic Data Analysis

With less than 10 hours to go before the polls open for the 2012 Presidential election, I thought it would be a good time to remind you about the importance of using cartograms to study business, political, and socioeconomic data.  Cartograms should be a constant tool in your intellectual toolbox that you utilize to overcome…

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Net Worth and Income By Education Level

Household Income, Net Worth, and Unemployment Rates By Education Level

The most recent statistics on household income, net worth, and unemployment, sorted by education level, are really interesting.  Following our discussion about the splits that have emerged along geographic fault lines in the electoral body, I thought it would be important to highlight the economic differences and how enormous the income inequality is for the…

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Sample Dummy Portfolio for Look Through Earnings and Dividends Page 1

How to Remain Detached from the Stock Market and Treat Your Investments Like Private Businesses

When I was much younger, I kept seeing Benjamin Graham’s famous allegory called Mr. Market mentioned by great economists, investors, and financial historians.  I bought a copy of The Intelligent Investor to figure out why everyone was so enthralled with a book that was as old as my grandparents.  It made so much sense that I immediately…

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Education and Affluence

New Study Finds The Ability to Delay Gratification Correlates with the Reliability of Adults in a Child’s Life

Whether or not a person is capable of waiting for rewards, and thus succeeding in things that require long-term planning such as investing, money management, completing higher education, and sticking with difficult projects for the promise of richer payouts, may not be due to willpower alone.  In a new study, researchers Celeste Kidd, Holly Palmeri,…

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Starbucks IPO

A 20-Year Case Study of an Investment in the Starbucks IPO

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…

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Nestle Headquarters Stock Investors from Google Earth

A Case Study of Nestlé SA Shareholder Returns With and Without Dividends Reinvested

Personally, my household owns shares of Nestlé SA, the Swiss-based chocolate, water, coffee, condensed milk, packaged food, and nutrition giant.  I’ve never been able to get as much of it as I want due to valuation1, but whenever the stock is within striking distance of my conservatively estimated calculation of intrinsic value, I write a…

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