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A 'Sneak Peek' Into a Vital Economic Indicator

A 'Sneak Peek' Into a Vital Economic Indicator

Dear reader, In the world of investing, two of the most important – and scarce – resources are information and time. Information, of course, allows you to make informed investment decisions. Having more data than the next guy gives you an informational advantage. It’s hard to get an informational advantage, though… especially as an individual […]
Incentives Dictate Behavior

Incentives Dictate Behavior

Dear reader, As cliché as it may sound, change is important for long-term corporate performance… Japanese video-game giant Nintendo (NTDOY) began its life as a playing-card company in 1889. After a successful 75-year run, the company began experimenting with new business lines. The card business was declining, so the company took what it learned from […]
How Cookies Became the Target for Corporate Greed

How Cookies Became the Target for Corporate Greed

Dear reader, In 1988, conglomerate RJR Nabisco was languishing at a low stock price of $40 per share after the recent merger of cigarette maker R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and cracker company Nabisco Brands. After growing management perks and buying back stock, CEO F. Ross Johnson was looking for a new play to buoy his company’s […]
'Mr. Market' Tells Us Where Stocks Are Heading

'Mr. Market' Tells Us Where Stocks Are Heading

Dear reader, Most investors are familiar with Benjamin Graham… The “father of value investing” wrote the legendary 1949 tome, The Intelligent Investor, and introduced the concept of “Mr. Market.” In Graham’s book, Mr. Market is your capricious business partner who owns half of your imaginary company. Some days, Mr. Market will come to you with […]
The Mill on the Hill

The Mill on the Hill

Dear reader, In my e-letter earlier this month, I talked about how major market events tend to leave investors gun-shy. We saw homebuilding and U.S. auto valuations remain particularly low following the housing crisis and the auto industry bailout. This was a great opportunity for the few investors who braved entering these tattered markets early […]
A Business Still Benefiting From Rosie the Riveter

A Business Still Benefiting From Rosie the Riveter

Dear reader, Few can argue that World War II was the pivotal event of the 20th century. The deadly conflict thrust the U.S. into superpower status and has shaped foreign policy to this day. However, it’s also worth understanding the impact of World War II on the American workforce. After December 7, 1941, the course […]
This Company Will Win the 5G Revolution

This Company Will Win the 5G Revolution

Dear reader, I don’t like buzzwords. As an investor, they signal for me that it’s time to look elsewhere for ideas. It’s like the old expression about knowing it’s time to sell your gold if even your cab driver is talking about buying it… when everyone is focused on something, it has likely hit its […]
The Next Hollywood Blockbuster

The Next Hollywood Blockbuster

Dear reader, The filmmaking industry is a fickle, uncertain business. Casablanca, a film expected to flop, went on to become a sleeper hit and a boon for the nascent Warner Brothers. It helped fuel Warner Brothers to become the premier studio it is today. However, Gone with the Wind – the highest-grossing film of all […]
Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes

Dear reader, Let’s dissect the old idiom, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Many people attribute this quote to Benjamin Franklin in 1789, but it was first recorded in 1716 in the transcript for actor and playwright Christopher Bullock’s The Cobbler of Preston. I suppose it’s fitting that the quote’s origin falls in the […]
Neutron Jack's Successor

Neutron Jack's Successor

Dear reader, Few CEOs have been more influential than Jack Welch of General Electric (GE). Welch joined the company in 1960 and became CEO in 1981… By that time, GE was an aging, 90-year-old conglomerate that was considered by investors only for its dividend. But the market was unprepared for the sweeping changes that would […]