80$ Off Code for Nespresso Machines

Nespresso Citiz

*Deal ends on November 14, 2016

I received 5 codes from Nespresso. The codes gives you $80 off the ORIGINALLINE machines. The code is not applicable for the cheapest INISSIA $149 machine and the luxury VERTUOLINE machines. So everything in the middle is game. Each claim gives me $40 in credit. It’s a win-win situation.

Here’s the code: N16.D4B.J34.A9F

How to use it: Sign up at Nespresso.com, buy a ORIGINALLINE machine, and apply code. You can also do it at their boutique or at 1-855-325-5781.

Even though I rarely drink coffee anymore (find it better for my health but still love it), I have a Nespresso machine and they are top of the class. They look great and they make great coffee. They have a large selection of capsules so you are not stuck always stuck with the same 2-3 flavors. Great to entertain guess too!

By the way this is not some weird spam offer. I wouldn’t post it if I though it was garbage. If you can save $80 off and I get a $40.

A letter from President H.W. Bush to President Clinton, a Class Act

I found this picture floating on Tweeter. It’s a letter from President H.W. Bush to then President-elect Bill Clinton on the day of his inauguration. It’s too good I had to post it. So much class and elegance has been lost since then. Hard to imagine such a letter today from Obama to let’s say Trump. Or Trump to a potential successor. Since its foundation, the transfer of power in a peaceful manner, and respecting the results of the election, has been one of the of the United-States cherished principles. Respecting the outcome of elections even if your candidate isn’t the winner is one of the foundational principle of democracy.

Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of a possibly unfair outcome is dangerous talk. It questions the legitimacy of democracy. It undermines the electoral process. If people question the legitimacy of an election just because it’s won by someone they disagree with, there’s little hope of bridging ideological differences and striking the compromises that are an essential part of governing a divided country.




Excellent Interview with Jamie Dimon that Buffett Loves

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon gave a memorable interview with Carlyle Group CEO David Rubenstein at the Economic Club of Washington D.C. last September. Dimon addressed a wide array of topics from the need for the Federal Reserve to raise rates, to the benefits of corporate tax reform.

Warren Buffett said this about this interview: “It was off the charts – one of the best I’ve ever heard,”. What’s interesting I just can’t picture Warren say the word “off the charts”.

Final Presidential Debate

*Post-debate update: Chris Wallace delivered a solid performance.

The third and last presidential debate tonight at 9pm ET. If you don’t have cable Youtube usually has a live feed.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has the prestigious assignment of moderating the election’s final debate and he also faces tremendous pressure to hold Clinton and Trump accountable. Will Wallace call out the nominee if they make false claims? Will he keep the candidates in check if they cut away from the question? It will be interesting to see how Wallace deals with the candidates. Trump has trashed the previous moderators for being bias. Will Trump say the same about Wallace? Since August Trump only gives interviews to Fox News, his allies. Trump has been bombarded by bad news, by sticking to Fox News he mostly avoids difficult questions about the daily controversies that plague his campaign. Wallace worked for Roger Ailes, the former king at Fox News, for two decades. Now Ailes with one of Trump’s advisor. Lets just hope that Wallace is tough on both candidates.

Below are four videos. Two funny ones from previous debates and two of Chris Wallace is owned by Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart.

If you are familiar with the show Arrested Development, you will love the following video. Arrested Development is one of the most underrated TV ever created.

What I Love Most About America

Below are quotes and videos by President Barrack Obama. These are very interesting conversations with Obama. You can read President Obama’s editorial “Now is the Greatest Time to Be Alive” here.

President Barrack Obama:

“I was a sucker for Star Trek when I was a kid,” he said. “They were always fun to watch. What made the show lasting was it wasn’t actually about technology. It was about values and relationships. Which is why it didn’t matter that the special effects were kind of cheesy and bad, right? They’d land on a planet and there are all these paper-mache boulders (laughs). But it didn’t matter because it was really talking about a notion of a common humanity and a confidence in our ability to solve problems.”

“Star Trek, like any good story, says that we’re all complicated, and we’ve all got a little bit of Spock and a little bit of Kirk [laughs] and a little bit of Scotty, maybe some Klingon in us, right? But that is what I mean about figuring it out. Part of figuring it out is being able to work across barriers and differences. There’s a certain faith in rationality, tempered by some humility. Which is true of the best art and true of the best science. The sense that we possess these incredible minds that we should use, and we’re still just scratching the surface, but we shouldn’t get too cocky. We should remind ourselves that there’s a lot of stuff we don’t know.”

A recent movie captured the same spirit—The Martian. Not because it had a hugely complicated plot, but because it showed a bunch of different people trying to solve a problem. And employing creativity and grit and hard work, and having confidence that if it’s out there, we can figure it out. That is what I love most about America and why it continues to attract people from all around the world for all of the challenges that we face, that spirit of “Oh, we can figure this out.” And what I value most about science is this notion that we can figure this out. Well, we’re gonna try this—if it doesn’t work, we’re gonna figure out why it didn’t work and then we’re gonna try something else. And we will revel in our mistakes, because that is gonna teach us how to ultimately crack the code on the thing that we’re trying to solve. And if we ever lose that spirit, then we’re gonna lose what is essential about America and what I think is essential about being human.

You can read President Obama’s editorial “Now is the Greatest Time to Be Alive” here. The November issue of Wired focuses on science, technology, innovation and the drive and curiosity of humanity.


Wall Street Bubbles – Always the Same

Market Sentiment - Market Bubble

Winter of the World

I recently finished Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy. It took me longer than the first book of the series and I finally got through this 1,000 pages brick. This is book two of the century trilogy. You can read my review of the first book, Fall of Giants, here. The completed work runs more than a 3,000 pages. The Century Trilogy a set of historical novels spanning all the major events that shaped our modern lives today. The length of the book hasn’t doomed it from becoming a bestseller. This is a major accomplishment in the 140 character world.

The first book focus on the events leading to WWI and the Great War itself. The second book, the one I just finished, deals with the events that led up to WWII, the rise of Hitler, and the aftermath.  This is what it’s on the back cover:

Winter of the World follows its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh—through a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the great dramas of World War II, and into the beginning of the long Cold War.

This is a solid follow up.  Like the first book, it’s a mixture of fictional characters and real events. There are also real characters such as leaders of countries and historically significant people. Ken Follett is known for his deep research and it shows. But I think I liked the first book of the trilogy better so far. My wife, which has read all three books of the series, liked the second one her favorite. Maybe I liked the first better since I learned a lot more. Nevertheless, this is a great story. There’s a lot of drama and historical information. It’s amazing how Follett manage to connect everything together. If you start reading you will get suck it and will consume you for days or weeks.

One fact that people seem to not know is that the German people have voted to put Hitler in power. Why would they do that you might ask? This requires its own post and is a phenomenon that must be studied and remembered so that kind of event doesn’t repeat itself. The short answer is that Germany was going through some brutal times in the 1920s, and the social and economic conditions in place at the time planted the seeds for Adolf Hitler to rise.

If there’s one thing about the book that bugged me, is that there are too many romantic relationships. But I guess most people like that and the series wouldn’t be so popular without it. It’s just not my thing. But the romantic relationships are important since you need the next generation for the next book. Another thing: This is a book on World War II and there’s not much on Japan. Except for Pearl Harbor and the atomic bombing, Japan is pretty much left out. Japan is in the book since you can’t ignore it but it’s overlooked. I feel that’s the general feeling when people think of WWII, it’s very Eurocentric even though it’s a “world” war. We are remembered of the genocide in Europe but we never talk about what the Japanese did to the Chinese.

I’m looking forward to finishing this trilogy with the third volume of the series, Edge of Eternity. You can read an excerpt of the third book edge_of_eternity_chapter1. If you want to learn more about history but you find it boring, this series is a great way to learn more in an entertaining way.

The Microsoft Millionaires

Latest article on Seeking Alpha. It’s a big success and I received a lot of great comments. In this article I look back at Microsoft and how much money it made for its shareholders.

Here’s a preview. For the full article you can read it directly on Seeking Alpha here (free).

Reposted from Seeking Alpha
By Brian Langis


  • Microsoft is a 791-bagger since its IPO in 1986.
  • Is there a company that created more millionaires and billionaires?
  • Satya Nadella is reinventing the company. Provides vision and a new shift in the direction of the company.
  • While Microsoft struggled to remain relevant, it’s never struggled to remain profitable.

I’m a big fan of history and business. Combine both of them and you have quite a passion. While researching companies that became multibagger, I had a lot of fun writing a piece on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Apple Computer’s IPO, on how it made its shareholders 205-times their money (not including dividends). My favorite part of the article was the comment section. I loved reading comments on how some got wealthy because they “forgot” they owned Apple. I told myself I would write more of these articles when I had the time. Multibagger is a term popularized by Peter Lynch, author of One Up on Wall-Street and a manager at the Magellan Fund at Fidelity Investments from 1977 to 1990. Peter Lynch often uses the term “10-bagger,” which is when a stock goes up 10 times in value.

Microsoft’s first logo

Now I turned my attention to another iconic company, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). For the new generations of investors, you might not understand some of the obsession the “older” investors have with Microsoft. When Windows 95 came out, geeks were lining up at midnight around the block outside technology stores. Yes people did that for Microsoft too. The Empire State Building was lit in Microsoft’s colors. Microsoft really changed the world for a better place. Microsoft dominated the tech industry and it was the wealthiest corporation in the world. Microsoft is the standard when it comes to massive investing success. You probably heard the saying “I want to find the next Microsoft.” Although it’s slowly getting replaced with “I want to find the next Google.” Of course, Microsoft has been the butt of jokes. Many people associate Microsoft with consumer product flops and the blue screen of death, but despite some its flaws, if it wasn’t for Windows and Office, I wouldn’t be writing this article.

Is there a company that created more millionaires and billionaires (Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer, Charles Simonyi) than Microsoft? It is said that Microsoft employs more millionaire secretaries that any other company in the world. I don’t know how accurate those statements are, but there’s no doubt that Microsoft made a lot of people very wealthy, both insiders and outsiders. A 2005 article from the New York Times claims that there were approximately 10,000 Microsoft millionaires created by the year 2000. Early programmers who accepted stock options as part of their compensation became millionaires at a very young age. As for the billionaires, Bill Gates is trying to save the planet with his foundation, Paul Allen owns three pro sports teams, Steve Ballmer owns the LA Clippers, and Charles Simonyi, the guy who oversaw the creation of Microsoft Office, is a space-obsessed billionaire. Here’s another New-York Times article from 1992 on the subject, Microsoft’s Unlikely Millionaires.

Source: Google Finance

If you had the good fortune to have bought 100 shares at the $28 (closing price, assuming you couldn’t get on the IPO), for a total investment of $2,800, today your investment would have mushroomed to 28,800 shares at $57.79 worth more than $1.66 million. That’s a 59,186% return without calculating the dividend. With the dividend reinvested, your returns goes up to $2.5 million for a juicy 89.5% return. If you are one of the lucky ones and happened that you need to calculate your returns, Microsoft was kind enough to provide a calculator to calculate your riches (in Excel, of course).

Microsoft IPO returns calculator in excel.

Assuming you held the stock since the IPO, Microsoft delivered a 791x bagger! You bought it the next day at $28; you would have made 592 times your money without including the dividends. If you guys know of a stock that made its shareholders more money please share.

Thanks for reading, full article at Seeking Alpha

Behind Every Great Man

failure-is-not-an-optionNASA Flight Director Gene Kranz wrote,

“Behind every great man is a woman – and behind her is the plumber, the electrician, the Maytag repairman, and one or more sick kids. And the car needs to go into the shop.”

From: Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Gene Kranz.


More on the Moleskine SpA Takeover

Previous Moleskine articles:

Moleskine SpA Takeover

Moleskine SpA: Paper Is Not Dead

I found this very good article on Moleskine SpA from the WSJ:Moleskine Turns Paper Into Big Profit for Private-Equity Owner by Simon Clark.

Except for the press release, I haven’t found a whole lot on the Moleskine takeover. This WSJ article provides a little bit of a background. Sometimes there is a paywall, so here are some bits and bites from the article:

The private equity owner, Syntegra Capital, bought a majority stake in Milan-based Moleskine in 2006, investing €17 million. It will earn a total of €323 million ($363 million), or 19 times as much when the sale of its remaining stake is completed.

D’Ieteren NV, a Belgian family-owned company, said on Sept. 22 that it would buy Moleskine and delist its shares from the Milan stock exchange.

The 2006 purchase of Moleskine was a bet that people would keep buying notebooks in an increasingly digital world. The company’s focus on design and its creation of a brand associated with artists and writers won loyal customers, said Mr. Ariello, who is also chairman of Moleskine.

Syntegra Capital installed a new chief executive at Moleskine— Arrigo Berni—a former executive at luxury Italian jewelry maker Bulgari. He increased Moleskine’s employees from 20 to about 450 as sales expanded almost 10 times over a decade to €128.2 million in 2015. Net profit increased 64.1% to €27.1 million in 2015 compared with the previous year.

Moleskine was a word used by British travel writer Bruce Chatwin to describe a notebook made in the French city of Tours until the 1980s. In the 1990s, a Milanese publisher started making notebooks inspired by the original French design and using the Moleskine name, which it trademarked.

The private-equity firm earned dividends from Moleskine and sold a 15% stake to another private-equity firm in 2010. It sold shares in Moleskine to the public in 2013 and sold more shares in 2015. Now it is selling its remaining 35% stake to D’Ieteren. Private-equity firms typically sell assets within five years of buying them.
D’Ieteren’s acquisition values Moleskine at €506 million.

The Belgian company is diversifying into stationery after more than two centuries of investing in the transport industry, from wheels to vehicle glass repair. D’Ieteren expects demand to keep growing for Moleskine notebooks.