Gold Coins and Gold Bullion Investments

Investing In Productive Assets Always Beats Gold and Gold Always Beats Fiat Currency In the Long-Run

It is a fairly regular occurrence for me to get messages from individuals who advocate a portfolio consisting entirely, or almost entirely, of gold, held for the long-term.  They usually follow the same pattern, are from the same demographic, and come through the contact form.  This morning, there was a comment left about gold and I decided…

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Acqua di Parma Fragrances and Colognes

Acqua di Parma Is a Good Case Study of Reviving an Old Brand to Create a Story that Resonates with Consumers

After the Guerlain fragrance purchases earlier, I ended up buying several new bottles of Acqua di Parma, including the Colonia, Colonia Intensa, and Blu Mediterraneo Bergamotto di Calabria in the Italy Pavilion of Epcot at Walt Disney World.  Again, I realized that most of the people who were in the store with me probably didn’t…

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Guerlain Is Another Example of a Successful Family Business Lasting 150+ Years Before Being Sold

If Creed is the king of French perfume houses, Geurlain is the Queen.  It is one of the oldest perfume companies in the world, and for 166 years between 1828 and 1994, the business was in the hands of the Guerlain family.   In Walt Disney World’s Epcot French pavilion, I visited the Guerlain store, which…

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Plain Tonga Toast from Kona Kafe Polynesian Resort Walt Disney World

The Disney Tonga Toast at the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe Made Me Realize I Need to Learn Several Fruit Confit Recipes

Several people had told me about the supposedly legendary Disney Tonga Toast at the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World.  It is like a loaf of French toast, stuffed with bananas, sugar, and cinnamon, then accented with maple syrup and a strawberry confit.  Trying it, I will say it was delicious,…

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Annual Walt Disney World Vacation in Orlando Florida 2012

I Am in Orlando, Florida for the 2012 Annual Walt Disney World Vacation

From September 2nd through September 9th, I will be attending my family and friends’ annual Walt Disney World vacation in Orlando, Florida.  This time around, our group included eleven people and we all stayed at the Animal Kingdom Deluxe Resort and Villa.  Personally, I prefer The Grand Floridian of all the on-site properties because of the transportation access…

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Hammond Candies Factory Tour Making Candy Canes

Behind the Scenes Hammond’s Candies Factory Tour in Denver

Later today, my grandmother is meeting up with her nephew (his grandmother was my great-grandmother), but before that happens, we are scheduled for the Hammond’s Candies Factory tour in Denver.  Hammond’s is one of the biggest old-fashioned hard candy manufacturers on the planet.  Personally, I’m not really much of a hard candy guy – I’d…

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1924 Income Tax Payers

The Top 14 Federal Income Tax Payers of 1924

In Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich, Kevin Phillips looks at the biggest Federal income tax payers shortly after the income tax was introduced.   Taxpayer Taxes in 1924 Dollars Taxes in 2012 Dollars John D. Rockefeller (oil) $6,278,000 $84,249,292 Henry Ford (autos) $2,609,000 $35,012,170 Edsel Ford (autos) $2,158,000 $28,959,856 Andrew Mellon…

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Interracial Marriage Gay Marriage Equality

Mail Bag: The Politics of Anti-Gay Chick-fil-A, Brand Equity, and Personal Expression on the Job

In the post this morning about Brands and Brand Equity, I mentioned the Chick-fil-A scandal in passing; particularly how it has experienced a 50% drop in brand perception over the past few weeks as the scandal unfolds.  One of the questions was too expansion to deal with in the comments thread so I put it…

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Coca-Cola Stock with Dividends Reinvested Over Past 50 Years

Reinvesting Dividends vs. Not Reinvesting Dividends: A 50-Year Case Study of Coca-Cola Stock

Last week, I posted on a 50-year investment history of shares of The Coca-Cola Company.  As I was publishing this month’s About.com content, I began writing a piece that I called The Dividend Dilemma that focused on whether you should reinvest your dividends or not.  Around the same time, one of the readers, Matt Nix,…

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Debating Art in the Bedroom

The Heat Wave Has Reached 110 Degrees, My Brother Secretly Flew to Colorado to Propose to His Girlfriend, and Other Random Happenings on a Tuesday in July

The curtain installers were at the house this morning, putting up the bespoke drapes that were designed to match one of the bedrooms back in the Spring.  We just got back from a local shopping trip to find appropriate art for various rooms in the house (which you can see some of the first-trial mockups…

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Synthetic Gemstones

Synthetic Gemstones vs. Natural Gemstones

I’ve spent a big part of today doing investment research on synthetic gemstones vs natural gemstones.  Following the recent reading foray into the world of jewelry retailing, distributing, and mining, I kept coming across a company called Chatham.  They had reportedly perfected the art of manufacturing gemstones such as rubies and sapphires inside of a…

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Creed Fragrance Royal Exclusives

Buying Creed Sublime Vanille at the Neiman Marcus Flagship Store in Dallas

My family and I stopped by the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown Dallas for several hours this afternoon between business commitments to look at tableware, crystal, and fragrances.  The store is wonderful.  I won’t get into the housewares I found (my favorite being a pewter accented serving pitcher adorned with sculpted fruits for when…

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Dallas Texas

I Love Dallas and I Love Texas

We are finally in Dallas.  As far as cities go, I love Dallas.  I’m thrilled with Dallas.  It, like me, is fiscally conservative and socially liberal.  There is plenty of high-end shopping.  There are world-class restaurants.  Several major airports are within driving distance.  Unlike my former home in the New York metro area, I can still…

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People Who Work For Themselves Can Make More Money

A Look at Household Net Worth and Household Income By Age Group from the 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances

Interesting fact: Do you want a financial “A” in life?  To achieve it, and rank in the top 5% of households (making you richer than 95 out of 100 families), you and your spouse need a combined pre-tax income of $205,300 and a net worth of $1,864,100. [mainbodyad]That is according to the triennial Survey of Consumer Finance, which was…

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Hitler Eugenics Intellectual Elite and Associative Mating

What Hitler Couldn’t Accomplish Through Eugenics, Society Has Effectively Done Through Incentives

The United States is facing a significant cultural challenge driven by basic biology that could radically redefine our socioeconomic structure.  That isn’t hyperbole, it’s a statement of fact. Several years ago, I began reading research papers, essays, and other data on assortative mating patterns in human populations.  In essence, people want to be around people…

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Dress Shirts for Men

Dress Shirts for Men 101

Several times each month, a family member, friend, colleague, or reader will ask me about dress shirts for men. Questions range from what to look for in a quality dress shirt to the names of some of the best shirtmakers in the world. For the sake of efficiency, I sat down this weekend and wrote a beginner’s guide to dress shirts for men, which can serve as a reference. This makes it easier for people to find, and save me time because I can point to it whenever a question arises, not having to repeat myself.

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The Dinner of Philosophers, or La Sainte Cène du Patriarche, by Jean Huber circa 1772

Not All Cultures Are Equal, Not All Cultural Diversity Is Good

Steven Pinker makes a number of lucid, persuasive arguments about culture and its role in human development in his masterpiece The Blank Slate.  He posits: The phenomena we call “culture” arises as people pool and accumulate their discoveries, and as they institute conventions to coordinate their labors and adjudicate their conflicts.  When groups of people separated by…

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