Merv Griffin’s Royalties From The Jeopardy Song

Even including successful lottery ticket purchasers, Merv Griffin had one of the most profitable minutes in the history of the civilization. You may recall the fortune that he made through his creation and majority ownership in various American game shows, which most notably include Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

As brilliant as Griffin was as a gameshow producer, he was just as shrewd when it came to operating his intellectual property.

In a 200 interview with the New York Times, Griffin indicated that he spent less than a minute creating the famous “Think” song that plays during the final question in Jeopardy. It was a lullaby for his son that he used as a placeholder while searching for a more official song.

Griffin never got around to changing the song, though he did bother to perform a company that consisted of nothing but the intellectual property for the song. As Read the rest of this article!

How To Determine Your Best Business Idea

When Warren Buffett spoke to MBA students at the University of Florida in the early 1990s, he gave some of the greatest advice that budding entrepreneurs could ever hope to receive. He said that his investment strategy advantage is that he stuck close to his best ideas and wouldn’t feel the need to further diversify merely for the sake of diversification. If you have investments in twenty different stocks, and you have some cash available for an additional purchase, the highest compounding rate is likely to come from enlarging the position in one of those twenty stocks that you already own rather than purchasing a 21st stock. In my own files, I call this strategy/mental model “Fidelity to Your Best Idea”.

People often ask variations of the question “How do I start a business?” or “What would be the best business to start?” That question is near impossible to … Read the rest of this article!

How Dollar Cost Averaging Through Life Reduces Risk

It is my contention that there are two ways that the average investor at home can gain an advantage over the algorithms, institutional investors, bankers, traders, and every other nebulous entity that we include in the definition of “Wall Street.”

My first conclusion is that investors can make money if they choose to embrace volatility. Whether it be oil stocks, media stocks, or financial stocks, certain sectors of the economy are prone to quick and sudden shifts that result in quick 30% rises or falls in their stock prices due to the recency bias that is created upon examination of a company with a cyclical business model (in other words, we overweight recent earnings results in performing expecting calculations of what the future for the business will bring.)

My second conclusion is that investors can make money by having a longer time horizon than everyone else. There are very few … Read the rest of this article!

Taking Charge Of Your Financial Future

The Irish Dark Ages last for approximately 400 years (!) – from approximately a century before the birth of Christ until approximately 300 years after that. It was an astoundingly poor period in which twenty generations of Irishmen failed to improve their lot in life, meaning that a young boy born in Ireland in 300 A.D. could honestly say, “My life is no better than that of my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather.”

As motivation, it is important to remember that the world truly owes you nothing. If you want something, you will have to take charge of it right now, and there is no moment fully in your control but the present. You can’t delude yourself into thinking there is a self-propelling aspect to success—i.e. you can’t develop an inner monologue, “In ten years, this will … Read the rest of this article!

Irving Kahn’s Beer Investing Insight

Irving Kahn was an incredibly fascinating man that received less than his fair share of media praise during his lifetime. An intuitive individual that invested during the Great Depression and lived to be 109, Kahn was a unique example of what can happen when you have five variables working in sync: (1) raw intelligence; (2) an insatiable intellectual curiosity; (3) the capacity for decisive action; (4) a wildly long runway of 80 years; and (5) a decent amount of capital as a young man.

In 1928, Kahn had the gut sense that some type of shock to the system was imminent because valuations were trading at 4x the post-Civil War average despite only giving slightly above average growth. He then made an incredible decision. He sold all of his investments, held 70% of his net worth as cash, and took the remaining 30% and shorted a company called Magma Copper … Read the rest of this article!