Kennon-Green & Co. Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Wealth Management, Global Value Investing

Goodbye, California.  In the words of your famous Governor, “I’ll be back”, but for now, it’s time to go home to Kansas City.  We returned the rental car after driving 1,000 miles exploring your beaches, mountains, groves, vineyards, and deserts to consider whether it would be a good fit for our business and life.  Now, we are ready to make the 1,362 air mile journey back to the cornfields and apple orchards of the Midwest, which will take only a few short hours thanks to the miracle that is science.  In the nearly two weeks we’ve been here, it’s helped us learn a lot about which towns and cities we would be willing to adopt as our own, and the pros and cons relative to other options, including places like Florida and Texas.  There are spreadsheets to build, maps to retrace, discussions to be had, and numbers to crunch.  You’ve given us a lot to ponder.

Flying Over Pacific Ocean West Coast Copyright Joshua Kennon

We flew out of LAX, circled out over the Pacific Ocean, and came back around to head to Kansas City. From my seat on the slingshot return, I could see the west coast going north..

Flying Over Los Angeles Area

Goodbye Los Angeles and surrounding communities …

Going Over California's Mountains

Heading over the mountains of Southern California …

Flying Over the Desert

Going into the desert …

Between the Rocky Mountains and Space

Awhile later, we were much higher with space above us and the Rocky Mountains below us …

Closeup of Rocky Mountain

I zoomed in on the snow to see one of the mountains closer …

Green Fields of Kansas and Missouri

Hello Missouri! Your green, fertile plains are a welcome sight after all that sand and rock …

Kansas Missouri Lake Farm Land

Your abundant rivers, lakes, and farmlands are a comfort.  Sure, you might seem boring after California, but you have a GDP equal to the entire country of Finland, 69,704 square miles of some of the best farmland on the entire planet, 6,022,000 citizens (more than the entire country of Denmark), two of the nation’s twelve Federal Reserve banks, avoided most of the housing bubble and subsequent crash, low unemployment, a functioning state legislature, and are one of the most laissez-faire states in the Union with the least restrictive laws on personal freedoms like alcohol, tobacco, and gun rights (due, in part, to all the hunters who still live partially off the land).  You gave the world Mark Twain, Scott Joplin, Eminem, Tennessee Williams, T.S. Eliot, and Walt Disney.  You gave rise to the Anheuser-Busch empire, provide the world with Crayola Crayons and Hallmark cards, let millions of people rent cars through Enterprise Rent-a-Car, entertained America through AMC Theaters, helped folks learn to invest through A.G. Edwards, Edward Jones, and one of the largest mutual fund advisors on Earth, American Funds.  You helped build America’s pharmaceutical giants through door-to-door entrepreneur Ewing Kauffman, who not only saved countless lives but made a whole lot of millionaires out of his investors.  You served as the gateway to the west when pioneers headed for the Pacific Ocean, providing them with supplies for their journey.  Even if I end up leaving you, I’ll always love you.

Hello Kansas City

It’s good to be on the ground at home …

Thanks for taking the journey with us!  I hope some of you found the pictures interesting and, once again, I want to thank so many of you, deeply and sincerely, for the suggestions, feedback, comments, and messages you’ve sent me about this trip.  Even if I didn’t have a chance to respond, I tried to read them all and they helped us a great deal.

Update: We’re home.  While we were gone the roses come out of their winter dormancy and had their first flush!

Roses Bloomed While in California Kennon

Most are still in buds so I’ll be able to see the height of the flush in a few days! The timing worked out perfectly!  That means it’s time to pull the weeds, replace the mulch, and apply another round of rose food to the soil.

Kennon Green Roses 2014

We are trying to learn to train the bushes down so they come up in concentrated blooms instead of looking like normal rose bushes, which can be a bit unwieldy. It appears successful thus far. It will take a few years to get it where we want, but it should pay big dividends in the end.

We need to head over to my parents’ house now to see the renovations that were done.  They are completely overhauling their home and placed orders for the appliances during the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting to get the owner discount.  A lot of it was delivered in the last few days so we get to see it in person.