FR: 1 Stock Tony Soprano Would Love

Article: 1 Stock Tony Soprano Would Love

Up next in my “Fool Revisited” series was a piece about Waste Management (NYSE: WM), the largest (by market cap) of the “waste management” companies out there. It is perhaps the most well-known as well, and the fact that its entire industry carries its name should be indicative of why it is considered an industry leader.

This article was probably another sector article, written after we discussed “industrial goods,” of which waste management was a sub-sector. My little too clever title notwithstanding, the article is a generally positive look at the company circa 2011, based primarily on the company’s 10-K for the prior year. It compares the “players” in the trash industry, with special emphasis on Veolia Envirronement, a French company that does similar things in Europe. Continue reading

FR: Best Buy Plays Copycat

Article: Best Buy Plays Copycat

Up next in my “Fool Revisited” series was an article that appears written when we covered the retail sector. I wrote about a retail company – Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) – that seemed to be copying a lot of its competitors in order to stay relevant. This was at a time when Best Buy was struggling to stay relevant because of Amazon (among others), and a little before they almost went private because of poor performance.

This article didn’t have a whole lot of real substance; you can definitely tell it was just a quick take about a sector without a whole lot of in-depth research. Continue reading

Alexander Hamilton, Part 1

After over a year of the book sitting on my shelf, I’ve finally started reading the Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton. As I make my way through the book, I plan on stopping every now and then and sharing my thoughts about the man that might have become my second favorite person from American history (after Abraham Lincoln, obviously). This appreciation stems from the wonderful musical Hamiltonthough I think that may have just reminded me of the things I previously knew about Hamilton from being a fan of history.

I think most casual fans of history pre-Hamilton musical remember him from mainly from his untimely death from a duel with Aaron Burr, as made famous in that one “Got Milk?” commercial:

But he was also a war hero, Founding Father, our first Secretary of the Treasury, helped establish the financial system of our country, and a lot of other things. He overcame huge odds to get to where he ended up in his life, which is why his life story served as a great inspiration for Lin-Manuel Miranda, despite being virtually ignored outside of discussions about the founding of our country.

Continue reading

FR: My Worst Investment Decision

Article: My Worst Investment Decision

Up next in my “Fool Revisited” series was my first attempt at a little longer piece, and an early attempt to define my personal investment philosophy regarding individual stocks. I’m not sure if this was part of a sector week, where I used the automotive industry as an entry point into this particular topic, or if it was a direct assignment on best/worst investment decision.

The investment decision I wrote about was a terrible – in hindsight – to sell a very small stake in Ford (NYSE: F) shortly after the financial crisis in 2008. General Motors and Chrysler were pretty close to bankruptcy, leading to the auto bailouts which saved those companies. Ford was “lucky” to have found bridge funding and avoided bankruptcy, but Chrysler and General Motors did not, leading to an $85 billion “bailout” from the U.S. government. Continue reading