Sunday, January 31, 2010

How to survive freefall from 35,000 feet, with no parachute.

From Popular Mechanics.

Granted, you have a ~1% of 1% survival rate, but still, this could only help. :)

Also, if you are ever on a plane with me, you will find me fighting for a seat in the back. ;)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another reason why Coke is part of a consumer driven duopoly.



For what I am guessing is under 10K in marketing expenses, Coca-Cola presently has a viral YouTube video with over 1.2 million! Not only that, but they also provided a ton of young college kids with something that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Genius. Sheer Genius.

Disclosure: I own no shares of Coke, though, SNS (which I am long) does serve their products. Coca-Cola Classic is my drink of choice. This is not investment advice. ;)

Friday, January 29, 2010

SNS (soon to be Biglari Holdings) news release and 10Q

Here is the news release and here is the quarterly report...

All I can really think right now, is 'Damn! These are some great numbers!' In addition, I will note that if you take out all of their capital lease obligations, the company's stock is trading at ~1.08x book value; which, I would argue is pretty cheap.

Basically, if you strictly take the quarterly increase in investments and cash, the company generated $17 million in cash- right where they were at the peak a few years ago (less cap ex). Certainly, these cash flows will only be getting better in the coming years. With the investments going up a strong amount, as has been noted on other sites, there is something that Biglari has been buying. If it is a single investment, then it is pretty big (well, it would have a market cap of more than, say, $100 million), as there has not been a 13D/G filed. On second thought, $100 million isn't that big, but it is HUGE when compared to any of the nano-caps that I am a fan of. :)

In addition, the name of the holding company is being changed to Biglari Holdings. I am guessing that Sardar Biglari is planning on staying for a while. :) It will be interesting to see what the Motley Fool, IBJ, and Indy Star have to say about the name change.

More on this later.

Disclosure: Long SNS. This is not investment advice. Do a ton of your own research before buying securities.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The State of the Union.

Since I am so incensed that I am not able to politely express, in my own words, how I feel about this year's 'State of the Union"; Warren Buffet will speak for me:

""You will not be right simply because a large number of people momentarily agree with you. You will not be right simply because important people agree with you. In many quarters the simultaneous occurrence of the two above factors is enough to make a course of action meet the test of conservatism. You will be right, over the course of many transactions, if your hypotheses are correct, your facts are correct, and your reasoning is correct. True conservatism is only possible through knowledge and reason."

President Obama: you sir, are wrong.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why I drink regular Coke, and the reason my brain loves it.

No, this isn't about marketing (though, that probably IS why I only drink Coke and refuse Pepsi)... I found this article via Farnam Street, which discusses how your brain can tell the difference between artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, and something that will lead to diabetes, such as high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar.

Just think of the implications and similar situations that this could have. It certainly goes against what makes sense on the face of the matter. After all, this is one of the few examples in a diet where taking in a substitutable food with fewer calories will actually lead to weight gain. Dig a bit deeper and we can certainly see why this would be the case.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Venezuala: the dumb and angry socialists.

Here, Venezuela nationalized a French retail chain, when they made the rational decision of raising their prices, after Venezuela irrationally devalued their currency. It's as if Chavez is saying 'they gave us no choice!'

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tax preparation and government agents.

Now, agents of the IRS will be posing as taxpayers, and asking tax preparers for advice... In addition, the IRS is going to be giving tests to the preparers, in effort to make them do things correctly.

How long until accountants are simply agents of the IRS? Why do we need for tax preparers to take continuing education types of tests? Surely, a person can figure out it a preparation service has a good reputation through free market agencies such as the Better Business Bureau or even word of mouth.

Maybe, people should try doing their own taxes and actually read the whole of the tax code, get a few page in, and realize that the whole system is pretty screwed up- then, we would vote in politicians that don't suck.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A black and white castle?

One could argue, that this could be a good case for being uber terrified of the ever so blinding and deceiving 'confirmation bias'.