Financial Success Late In Life Is Nothing To Lament

I love this chart that Anna Vital made that is going viral across the United States. If anything, though, it’s incomplete because it ignores so many people who didn’t start becoming successful in a business endeavor until their 40s, 50s, 60s, and so on.


This list doesn’t even include Sam Walton, who was running a five-and-dime Benjamin Franklin store and then learned that his landlord was going to charge him extortionist rent in an effort to get him off the land. If Sam Walton didn’t encounter a greedy son-of-a-gun landlord that had his eye on Walton’s franchised business, he might have spent the rest of his life owning a dozen or so small stores before calling it a life and hanging it up (as an aside: this alternative would have been no grave hardship. Adjusted for inflation, he could have easily been bringing in $2-$4 million in annual profits if … Read the rest of this article!

Roth IRA Investing: Altria Stock Since The Financial Crisis

There is a reader of this website who purchased shares of Altria stock in 2009 when the rest of the world was falling apart during the Great Recession. I have often mentioned on this website that it only requires a small handful of decision, technically only one, to gradually replace the income that you earn from your labor with income that you earn from a passive source such as ownership in a great business.

Altria was always an interesting business because it typically traded at a low valuation due to the stigma around owning tobacco stocks as well as the existential question of whether its core business model would be effectively regulated out of existence. The 2008-2009 time period added a few additional elements weighing upon valuation, including the spinoff of Philip Morris International and Kraft such that Altria became a standalone domestic manufacturer of tobacco at precisely the same … Read the rest of this article!

Aqua America: One Of The Last Stocks In The World Offering A 5% Reinvestment Discount

Back when DRIP programs were rolling out in the 1960s and 1970s, one of the advantages typically offered in such programs was a 5%, 10%, and in some rare cases of budding blue-chips, 15% discount on dividend reinvestment for those investors holding the stock.

The whole point of it was to encourage and incentivize people for thinking like long-term business owners. Also, it was a way to shift the accumulation of company stock away from the folks in New York that tended to want results now towards a more genteel and understanding owner base that would be patient with management when business conditions thwarted companies from achieving expected growth. This was a strategy pioneered by Richard Joshua Reynolds (the Emory graduate who owned the RJ Reynolds tobacco company) who hated Wall Street folks buying up bits of his company and used the promise of special cash payout structures for employees … Read the rest of this article!

Warren Buffett’s First and Best Investing Lesson

In the spring of 1942, Warren Buffett made his first investment in the stock market when he purchased three 3 shares of Cities Service stock, an Oklahoma natural gas company that Warren’s father, Howard, had frequently recommended to clients at the stock brokerage that he ran and operated.

By the fall of 1942, the stock quickly fell from $42 to $32, before coming back to $45 in short order. Warren Buffett did not like seeing his investment fall from $126 to $96, which in 1942 dollars is like seeing a $5,000 investment fall to the $4,000 range nowadays, and then he sold at $45 which is more like turning $5,000 to 5,200 in today’s dollars.

Shortly after this, the price of natural gas began to boom, and by 1943, the stock rose to $110. In today’s dollars, if Warren Buffett had held onto his Cities Service stock, it would have … Read the rest of this article!

About John Sculley’s Decision To Fire Steve Jobs

Although John Sculley (thePepsi CEO that left the helm at Steve Jobs’ behest only to sack him later after disagreeing about the future of the company—Jobs wanted to focus on lowering the price and increasing the advertising of the Mac, and Sculley thought the Mac was structurally deficient due to already obsolete technology) did an interview way back in September with Forbes to discuss the most famous firing of our generation, I didn’t see it until today.

When finance writers bring up the Jobs/Sculley relationship and talk about Apple’s meteoric success as an investment, there are two things that they usually miss.

First off, they usually ignore the fact that John Sculley utterly failed in his role to bring cash flow to Apple. The problem with Apple’s stock (up until this past decade) is that the company was always a cash-starved business that generated a lot of sales but didn’t … Read the rest of this article!