Bulls Eye Investor

The Final Frontier (and It’s Not Space)

October 2014

I have a close friend who works in East Africa. She travels there a lot, for a few months out of the year. She has been going there since 2006. I’ve never traveled to Africa, but I started to learn a lot about it through her. For example, Kenya’s capital Nairobi is not that hot. It’s at a very high elevation and has natural air conditioning. And it’s a real city, with some skyscrapers—and…

Download PDF: The Final Frontier (and It’s Not Space)

To Err Is Equities; To Really Screw Things Up Takes Fixed Income

September 2014

Two years ago, John approached me to ask if I’d be interested in writing his flagship investment letter, Bull’s Eye Investor (BEI). I was honored to be asked and agreed without hesitation. Two years later, the time has come for me to move on in order to concentrate on several other projects, but I wasn’t about to make that move until we’d identified a suitable replacement to take over the reins of BEI.…

Download PDF: To Err Is Equities; To Really Screw Things Up Takes Fixed Income

Holy Trinity

August 2014

Ordinarily, you’d think that manufacturing butane tanks in a mule barn would be a bad idea; and ordinarily, you’d be right. However, when J.C. Bender founded Trinity Steel in Dallas in 1933, that’s exactly what he started out doing, and you’d have to say things worked out pretty well.  

Download PDF: Holy Trinity

Royal Oil

June 2014

In the mid-19th century, Patty and Mildred J. Hill sang a new song to their kindergarten class in Kentucky. The song was called “Good Morning to All.” It consisted of just four lines. The first two were identical in both lyric and melody; the third featured a minor lyric and melodic shift; and then the fourth and final line reverted back to the form of the first two. As songs go, it was…

Download PDF: Royal Oil

Balm of Gilead

May 2014

It’s not often that an investment once passed up by Warren Buffett offers the kind of promise we look for when constructing the Bull’s Eye portfolio, but this month we’re recommending one such company which we feel is on a trajectory that has likely already made Buffett rather wistful about a decision he made back in 1988 not to invest in the company nor to accept a seat on its board.  

Download PDF: Balm of Gilead

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…

Download PDF: P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Games

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…

Download PDF: Master and Commander

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…

Download PDF: No Other Vendor

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…

Download PDF: Credit Score