Hey, glad you showed up!
Around here we discuss:
Money – Life – Travel – Business
Almost anything can fit if it captures my imagination and I think you might be interested.
Beyond the Stock Series, and to give you some idea of what else around here resonates with the regulars, these are the Top 5 most popular posts:
- What we own and why we own it
- How I failed my daughter and a simple path to wealth
- Why your house is a terrible investment
- Why you need F-you money
To help you get started, check out the sidebar for lists of the Most Popular, Most Recent and some of my favorite posts, along with the Archives, Categories and Blogroll.
I started out writing this for my daughter. It’s about what has worked for me and what has kicked me in the ass.
Me? Well since you asked…..
I started selling flyswatters door-to-door and picking up empty pop bottles from the side of the road to turn in for the 2-cent deposit. Hey, gimme a break. I was eight.
My first real job was in an ice cream parlor, although I spent most of my time scrubbing out the big metal ice cream cans. I was 13 and it paid $1.25 per hour. A fortune!
From there: Busboy, dishwasher, order-puller, grocery bagger, stock clerk, produce clerk and gas station pump jockey back in the day when someone pumped your gas, washed your windows and checked your oil for you (ask your grand parents).
Mail clerk, ground man for a tree crew, landscaper, ad agency founder, account executive, ad space salesman, investment officer, entrepreneur, consultant, sales trainer, speaker, writer, radio talk show host, publisher and group publisher. Pretty much in that order although I’ve done some more than once. And I may have forgotten one or two.
My work has taken me to most states across the country as well as Canada, Germany and England. One of my few regrets is that I’ve never had the occasion for an international posting.
But I’ve had the good fortune to see a bit of the planet on my own: Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Wales, England, Greece, Crete, Puerto Rico, Tahiti, Venezuela, Curacao, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Paris, India, Kashmir, Goa, Nepal, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Eleuthera, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Barbados, Antigua, Martinique, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Prague, Guatemala, Galapagos, Maui, Guam, Philippines (Manila, Cebu, Bohol, Dumaguete, Siquijor), Taiwan, Japan, Mt. Olympus. Pretty much in that order although I’ve visited several more than once. And I may have forgotten one or two.
I’ve traveled to and around those places by plane, train, bus, boat, subway, taxi, hired car, motorcycle, bicycle, rickshaw, hitch-hiking, foot, horse, donkey and elephant. Not only traveled by elephant, but herded rhinoceros by elephant back in Nepal. I love saying that!
My degree in English Literature is from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. They still send me alumni letters mostly, I think, hoping I’ve become rich and famous. I’m working on it.
Here’s my favorite cartoon:
The visual is two guys in a corn field. They are up on racks dressed in shabby clothes. Straw is coming out from their shirt cuffs and pant legs.
They are serving as scarecrows. One is looking over at the other and saying…
“English Major. How about you?”
Finally, one of my talented readers has stepped up to illustrate this:
Cartoon illustrated by:
Monica H. “avid reader of this blog and fellow index investor”
Since June 2011 I’ve left what will probably be my last full-time job. So I guess I’m retired. Except this blog, which has now grown into an international readership. No one is more amazed than I.
A pal of mine once said I had won the family lottery. He is right.
As of June 19th, 2014 my wife Jane and I will have been married for 32 years. Our daughter Jessica just graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Rhode Island. She about to enter the Peace Corp.
This Blog, as with everything I do, is dedicated to them.
The investment ideas of others:
Occasionally in the comments I am asked to read some book, article and/or blog and dispute the ideas in them. I simply don’t have the time or inclination to do this.
If you read my blog you’ll soon have a very clear idea of my views. You can then read other sources, compare and decide for yourself what resonates.
Oh, and one last thing…..
Be sure to read the important Disclaimers regarding the content and advertising on this blog.
For more on me check out…
Mr. Collins is a senior executive with extensive P&L experience and a proven track record of growing revenue and profitability, integrating acquisitions, launching new products, developing and implementing business plans, creating powerful marketing strategies, building strong customer relationships and building effective teams. He is experienced in a broad range of markets including technology, automotive, investments, design engineering, electronics manufacturing, construction, horticulture and energy.
Most recently he served as Senior Manager, Business Development with Penton Media working on Contracting Business, HVACR Distribution Business, The Comfortech Show and their related websites. Under his management revenues grew 82%, setting an all time record.
He has served as a Group Publisher for the Advanced Technology Division (ATD) of PennWell Corporation. There he integrated two newly acquired publishing businesses, Connector Specifier (CS) and SMT (Surface Mount Technology), into the ATD’s operations and culture in what the board of directors called a “textbook example” of successful acquisition integration. Later he guided the integration of the subsequently acquired SMT Germany.
He rebuilt the post-acquisition staff, combining acquired personnel, newly assigned PennWell employees and new hires into highly effective, motivated teams able to execute aggressive quality, cost-saving and revenue goals.
Under his management both businesses set all-time revenue and profit records. CS gained 29% in revenue and 256% in profit and SMT increased 21% and 63% respectively. SMT’s market share grew to nearly 50%, positioning it as the industry’s #1 publication.
He also launched the ATD’s first show daily venture, The APEX Show Dailies, (posting profit margins of 50%) and SMT Mexitronica.
Prior to PennWell, Mr. Collins served as Publisher of Counterman for Babcox Publications. There he substantially increased profitability (54% in year one and an additional 41% in year two) and launched Counterman DIY. He successfully increased revenue, ad sales and market share during a contracting market, positioning Counterman as the automotive aftermarket’s second-largest publication, up from fourth.
In 1988 Mr. Collins was recruited to join Roulston & Company, Inc., an international investment research firm. There he served as an Investment Officer marketing investment research and analysis to institutional investors. He also produced analytical reports on a diverse group of publicly traded companies.
Mr. Collins also spent eleven years with Penton Publishing, Inc. holding several positions of increasing responsibility. As Publisher, he successfully orchestrated the turnaround of Materials Engineering, generating its first consecutive years of profitability in well over two decades. He also launched Composite Materialsand served as Market Development Manager for Machine Design.
In addition to his work as a publisher, Mr. Collins is an accomplished consultant, author and speaker. He has provided reorganization strategies, sales and marketing strategies, sales training, business plans and operational reviews for clients such as The Aberdeen Group, East Ohio Gas, National City Bank and Thompson, Hine and Flory. He led the senior management team of Operation Bass in developing a business plan to expand into publications and television, and he wrote the business plan for and helped launch the Journal of Energy Management.
He is the author of the sales-training seminar, Effective Selling, as well as several workshops, speeches, columns and articles on professional sales and peak performance including The Ten Sales Commandments, Enhancing Customer Relationships, The Myth of Motivation, The Most Dangerous Words Your Customer Can Say, Handling Mistakes and There Is No Old Business. He also produced, wrote and presented a weekly radio feature, Your Sales Guru, for WHK Radio,Cleveland.
Mr. Collins launched his career selling advertising space in Chicago.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and holds a BA in English Literature.