May 312015
 

Fast food and other low wage earners are often under-appreciated and misunderstood.

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But they are an important part of the economy. Not only do they make breakfast and coffee for other people in the workforce, they can also inspire us to work hard and be successful. 🙂 There are different types of success. Making $100,000 a year as a lawyer could be one measure of financial success. But there are also success stories of very ambitious people who work in the lower paying service industry.

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Nov 162014
 

The secret to a long life may lie in the fast food industry, ironically. Earlier this year the founder of Chick-fil-A passed away at the ripe old age of 93. The Canadian entrepreneur behind Baskin-Robbins, Carl Karcher of Carl’s Junior, and Colonel Sanders of KFC all died at age 90. The founders of Hardee’s, Taco Bell, and even McDonalds all died in their 80s. Meanwhile the average life expectancy in the U.S. in 2012 was 79 years old.

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At first I was surprised that these people who seemingly surrounded themselves by greasy fast food could live to be so old. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Restaurant owners usually have a solid understanding of nutrition so it would make sense for these entrepreneurs to eat well. And since they are rich they can also afford the best health care in the country. 🙂 I don’t think it’s a coincidence that fast food restaurant owners are wealthy and live long lives. It’s interesting how these moguls can be so passionate about their businesses but not consume their own products. Who knows. Maybe if we invest in these high caloric companies then we can also live long and prosper.

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Random Useless Fact:
The word “billion” (or its relevant translation) is by no means ubiquitous throughout the world; in many countries it means 1 million million, and even Great Britain used this system until 1974.

Aug 262014
 

Looks like a merger is on the menu for Burger King 🙂 It’s currently in talks to merge with Canadian company Tim Hortons and move its headquarters up here to Canada 😀 Tim Hortons is a quick service coffee chain that has a strong Canadian identity. Here’s a drive thru window at a typical Tim Hortons.

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Last year I blogged about buying some Tim Hortons shares and how investing in the coffee industry is the best idea ever! Thankfully my investment paid off because each share today is worth about 62% more than when I purchased them. Tim Hortons’ performance has beaten the overall stock market index in both Canada and the U.S. 🙂

If the acquisition is successful Burger King and Tim Hortons would continue to operate as individual franchises. You won’t find Timbits in your Whopper, and you won’t be offered fries with your coffee, haha 😆

The merger would benefit both companies. Right now Tim Hortons sells most of its coffee in Canada because it faces tough competition in the U.S. from Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. But Burger King is already established in the U.S. and also has locations in Latin America and Europe, so Tim Hortons can use those valuable business channels to expand its brand awareness, and gain better access to global markets. Meanwhile Burger King would benefit from the high margin coffee business and also save money via tax inversion.

Tax inversion is when a U.S. company that has large overseas markets moves its main corporate office into a lower tax country. This allows the company to reposition itself as a foreign corporation so it can return foreign profits to stockholders without double taxation. This means if the merger is successful Burger King will get to pay a lower income tax, which will leave more after tax profits for its shareholders 😀

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