If you are contemplating making an investment in big tobacco, and have not yet done so, you need to read this.
The money quote:
“China had 182 million smokers in 1980, and nearly 282 million in 2012, it said. India gained 35 million smokers – bringing its total to 110 million – even though the smoking rate fell from 19 to 13 percent of the population.
Russia, where about one third of people smoke, has added 1 million smokers since 1980.
Globally, the number of smokers has climbed from 721 million in 1980 to 967 million in 2012. The number of cigarettes smoked annually has also risen 26 percent over the past three decades.
“The greatest health risks are likely to occur in countries with high prevalence and high consumption,” said the study. Countries include China, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, the Philippines, Uruguay, Switzerland and Russia, it said.”
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Even Bruce Springsteen, long after raking in the millions from Born To Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River, and Born in the U.S.A., still needed to borrow money short-term to make ends meet:
Considering the money he’ll earn from his two new albums, it’s hard to believe Bruce Springsteen once needed a $500,000 loan from the Orioles’ Rick Sutcliffe for a down payment on a southern California home.
Actually, “needed” probably isn’t the right word. Springsteen had plenty of money back in 1986; he repaid Sutcliffe two days later. But as so often happens with rock stars, baseball players and other rich people, he just wasn’t liquid.
The Boss was waiting on a CD — a certificate-of-deposit, that is, not a compact disc. It was scheduled to mature two days after the paperwork for his closing was completed, and smart businessman that he is, he
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The audio and visual quality of this video is a bit punishing to work through, but the common sense wisdom that you’ll pick up from these two titans will be worth, I’d think.
In the coming two to three months, I’m going to focus on adding some content to the site that focuses on investing wisdom we can pick up courtesy of Peter Lynch and John Templeton. Their legacies aren’t quite as big as the Buffett and Grahams of the investing world, but I think it’s dumb to assume that the richest investors in the world are necessarily the best investors in the world.
That may seem somewhat counterintuitive of me to say, given that having more money is literally the scorecard that determines how well an investment did, but I think you have to take external factors into account. For instance, Warren Buffett owned … Read the rest of this article!
In 1963, Warren Buffett bought a block of American Express stock after the “Salad Oil Scandal” sent the shares down substantially—in a nutshell, one of American Express’s subsidiaries had used millions of dollars worth of salad oil as collateral to secure financing, and it turned out that the salad oil did not exist at all, putting American Express on the hook. Warren saw this as a buying opportunity, and paid the equivalent of $0.94 per share for the stock. It quickly went up to the equivalent of the $5 range within five years, and Buffett sold.
However, since 1968, American Express has increased another seventeen-fold. If Buffett hold on to his shares, he would have compounded his wealth at 13.1% annually since then (of course, we can’t fault Buffett for selling since he has compounded Berkshire’s book value at north of 19%, making him one of the only people walking … Read the rest of this article!
I would guess that, especially compared to most guys in their 20s, I tend to have a more favorable opinion of Wal-Mart than most of the population in general. I consider Sam Walton’s life to be one of the best “stories” in American history—a man that got ripped off by his landlord running a Benjamin Franklin Five & Dime store risked it all to start his own enterprise, to the mockery of Sears and the banks from which he sought his original capital (incidentally, Sam Walton eventually went on to own the bank that denied him a loan).
I love the fact that Wal-Mart’s growing profits over the past forty years have made young men and men rich, and have provided retirees with the kinds of annual boosts in income (thanks to Wal-Mart’s growing dividend) that have allowed them to spend their retirement years eating lobster and crab instead of … Read the rest of this article!