Taco Bell’s Ronald McDonald Commercial Is Brilliant Advertising

I’m a sucker for a good commercial, particularly one with a competitive edge that indicates “I’m here to win.” The United States has largely moved away from producing those kinds of ads over the past 25 years for two reasons.

First, companies realized that starting commercialized wars with peers would lead to market share and pricing bouts of oneupsmanship in which you’re left with lower margins, and as a consequence, lower profits.

In other words, large American companies have developed a fear of the counterattack.

I’ll give a hypothetical. Let’s say that Wal-Mart lowered the price of all bread and milk products by 25%, willing to take a loss on those items to get more foot traffic through the door (and as a result, they would increase profits when customers bought products beyond the loss leaders). To kick off the campaign, Wal-Mart might launch an advertising campaign that compares the … Read the rest of this article!

23,918% Rise In Value Since 1979

I have a new update on Patreon, which you can access by clicking here. I cover a stock that has deliver over 14% annual returns since 1979 while executing the same strategy today that it has been perfecting for the past forty years. In particular, it now trades at a much lower than typical P/E ratio due to several recent “disappointing” earnings reports, which I put in quotes marks because profits are rising but the recent reports have been at a lower rate than the proverbial Wall Street wants, and therein lies the opportunity for the long-term investor to capture double-digit compounding.

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How To Find A Great Stock Investment These Days

When evaluating a business, I pay close attention to the ability of the prospective business to raise prices that it is able to charge for its good or services each year. Along with improved improved technologies/lowered costs, increased sales, and share buybacks, this is the remaining element that can lead to increased profit per share.

Arguably, pricing power is the most significant factor in identifying a buy-and-hold investment because it actually is the manifestation of a competitive advantage. With share buybacks, the only requirement is that there must be cash somewhere on the balance sheet that can be used to lower the share count outstanding. With lowered costs, the competition often benefits from the same technological development, so it is rarely proprietary and/or competitive benefits to the business itself. Increased sales is closer to measuring the competitive advantage of a business, but sometimes, it could just be that a healthy … Read the rest of this article!

Parents Raised Money For Baseball Team, Judge Uses Title IX To Tear Down Bleachers

Students and parents of student at Plymouth Salem High School in Michigan have been dealing with one of the grossest overreaches of Title IX legislation in recent memory. Here’s a useful summary from a recent Yahoo Sports story on the matter:

Six years ago, parents of Plymouth High’s boys’ varsity team raised money and built stadium seating so they could watch from above a black chain-link fence that made spectating difficult, according to WJBK-TV. The parents also installed a new scoreboard for the baseball field.

Now, the school must tear it all down. The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation following an anonymous complaint. Ultimately, officials demanded that the seating and scoreboard be torn down because the upgrades are superior to Plymouth’s girls’ softball facilities. The boys’ seating is also not handicap accessible, which is a separate violation of government regulations.

One of the purported reasons … Read the rest of this article!

Phillips 66 Stock: The Conoco Spinoff Seven Years Later

I had always admired the “old” Conoco Phillips that included what is now ConocoPhillips (COP) and the new Phillips 66 (PSX). It owned immense oil, natural gas, and refining assets, and due to some historical mismanagement and the fact that it was an oil explorer without pockets as deep as rivals Chevron and what is now ExxonMobil, it always traded at a substantial discount to its peers.

For most of the 1990s and early 2000s, Conoco could be purchased with a 4% or 5% starting yield, which would get reinvested at low prices, and it created the type of situation where someone could make look back on several years of financial statements and see the compounding of dividends getting reinvested build wealth right before their eyes, even in as short of a time frame as 3-5 years.

In 2012, as we all know, Conoco decided to spin off Phillips 66, … Read the rest of this article!