Bulls Eye Investor

P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Games

April 2014

The next time you are heating up a can of soup or getting some popcorn ready for movie night with the kids, take a second to thank a gentleman by the name of Percy Lebaron Spencer, without whom you’d be taking a lot longer to accomplish either task. Spencer’s formative years predated the widespread adoption of electricity; but as a curious 16-year-old, the young man from Howland, Maine, heard about a local paper…

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Master and Commander

March 2014

In June of 2011, to great fanfare, two sets of engineers met in the middle of Jiaozhou Bay, which lies almost equidistant between Beijing and Shanghai on China’s eastern seaboard. They had been working their way towards each other for almost five years—one group had started in the port city of Qingdao, the other in the semi-suburban sprawl of Huangdao—and when they met, they bolted together the two sides of what would be—for all…

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No Other Vendor

February 2014

In 1860s America, the oil boom was in full swing. It had begun in Titusville, PA, in the Oil Creek Valley, when a magnificently bearded gentleman by the name of Edwin Laurentine Drake (known to his friends as Colonel Drake) was hired by the Seneca Oil Corporation to investigate suspected oil deposits. (Presumably, the name of the valley itself offered a clue.) Drake struck black gold, whereupon oil wells sprang up across Eastern…

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Credit Score

January 2014

Joseph P. Williams, who was born in Newark, New Jersey, served as an infantry officer in WWII. But when the conflict finally ended, he found himself back in the United States looking for work in a country that was on the verge of perhaps the biggest productivity boom it had ever seen, and that boom meant one thing was needed above just about everything else: credit. So, ever the go-getter, Williams jumped into…

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Crazy? Like A Fox

December 2013

Imagine you’re in your mid-20s. It’s 1952, and your father just passed away. As the eldest surviving male in the family, it’s up to you to take charge of the family news business, the Adelaide News. Though you’ve had experience managing your college newspaper and a brief stint at the Melbourne Herald, you’ve never managed anything nearly as big as the Adelaide News.   Soon after taking the reins, you use what you…

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Upwardly Mobile

November 2013

In 1973, John F. Mitchell and Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola Corporation introduced a device weighing 2.2 lbs (1 kg) that would very quickly change the world and that today resides in roughly 87% of the world’s pockets or handbags. That device was the first handheld cell phone, and since the day Mitchell & Cooper unveiled it to the world, our lives have been evolving (mostly for the better) by the day.…

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I, Robot

October 2013

Amongst his lesser-known writings, the great French author Voltaire penned the following short sentence in 1739: “Sans … le canard de Vaucanson vous n’auriez rien qui fit ressouvenir de la gloire de la France.” Translated into English, this somewhat hard-to-comprehend collection of words becomes no less difficult to decypher: “Without … the Duck of Vaucanson, you will have nothing to remind you of the glory of France.”

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Gushing

September 2013

The earliest known oil wells date back farther than most people would imagine. Today’s environmentalists would undoubtedly shake their heads to learn how the oil from those early wells was used. In 347 AD, Chinese salt miners attached primitive “drill bits” to lengths of bamboo and bored wells that reached a depth of some 800 feet. The oil that sprang from these holes was burned in order to evaporate brine and produce the…

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Rear-View Mirror

August 2013

World markets have become harder than ever to navigate. The sheer volume of news being disseminated each day about multiple shaky situations—any one of which could suddenly erupt—means that being a Bull’s Eye Investor is about holding on to something that the fast, muddy flow of current events is always tending to erode: perspective. This month in BEI we are taking a breath and re-examining our portfolio to ensure our perspective remains sound.…

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Motion Capture

July 2013

In May of 2008, Odyssey Marine Exploration, a company based in Tampa, Florida, announced that it had discovered the wreckage of one of England’s most famous ships, which had been tragically lost in the western approaches to the English Channel in 1744. The Royal Navy’s 100-gun HMS Victory had been returning to Britain as the flagship of Admiral Sir John Balchen after relieving Sir Charles Hardy, who had been blockaded by the French…

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