Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance.
I’m away on vacation — but our resident grandfather, the amazing RD Blakeslee, was kind enough to agree to fill in for me this week with his unique lightning-round version of the Debits and Credits. Thank you, Grandfather!
And with that, let’s get this show on the road …
A prophet is without honor in his own land.
— Mark 6:4
Virtue is its own reward.
— John Henry Newman
Credits and Debits
Debit: Housing for Americans in cities is trending in an inhumane direction.
Credit: But housing for the self-reliant outside cities is obtainable, as always.
Debit: Meanwhile, fiat money is debasing everywhere.
Credit: But there is still plenty of precious metal available.
Debit: Elsewhere, brick-and mortar stores are quickly disappearing.
Credit: But online retailing now offers easier shopping at home.
Credit: Then there’s this: About three in four Americans generally say they are financially secure, whereas only half said so ten years ago.
Debit: But millennials aren’t doing as well.
Debit: At the same time, traditional ethics are under one-sided attack from the left in many universities.
Credit: While only a small minority of university classes present the other side of the issues.
Credit: But there’s evidence here and there that millennials will not allow their lives to be warped to the left by the social engineering.
Debit: Even though far fewer millennials than earlier generations are conventionally patriotic.
Debit: In other news, the city of Chicago is cutting spending on services to fund pensions.
Credit: It’s probably not a coincidence that self-reliant people who can do so are leaving the Windy City.
Debit: Meanwhile, on Wall Street, the stock market bubble remains at a historic high thanks to the Fed continuing to increase the money supply.
Credit: The so-called “smart money” can see this — which is why it is leaving the market to retail investors.
Debit: Finally … The US shale oil industry continues to suffer huge losses.
Credit: But the shale boom can secure US oil supplies in the face of Mid East uncertainty.
By the Numbers
There are some truly arcane food-eating records out there. Here are some of the strangest:
12 Hamburgers consumed in 3 minutes by Takeru Kobayashi. He was allowed one condiment per sandwich and he chose mayonnaise for all of them.
29 Ikea meatballs eaten in one minute — Kobayashi owns this record too.
6 Hard boiled eggs peeled and consumed in one minute by Ashrita Furman.
11.41 Seconds it took Phillip Santoro to eat a jelly-filled donut — without using his hands or licking his lips.
36 Cloves of garlic consumed in one minute by Patrick Bertoletti.
29.56 Seconds Yusuke Yamaguchi required to consume a raw onion.
31 Brussels sprouts that Linus Urbanec downed in a single minute.
1 Minutes it took Andre Ortolf to down 13.333 ounces of peanut butter. Yes, that is the size of a small jar. No, he wasn’t allowed any milk as a chaser.
Last Week’s Poll Results
Do you think college still offers the best opportunity for financial success?
- No (65%)
- Yes (28%)
- I’m not sure (6%)
More than 1700 Len Penzo dot Com readers responded to last week’s question and it turns out that slightly less than 2 in 3 believe a university education is not the best path for financial success. That is a significant change from two years ago when I asked the exact same question and only 47% thought college was not the best path for financial success. The big difference between then and now is that the great majority of the 22% who were still unsure back in 2017 have moved to the “No” side of the fence. Interesting.
If you have a question you’d like me to ask the readers here, send it to me at Len@LenPenzo.com — and be sure to put “Question of the Week” in the subject line.
The Question of the Week
Useless News: Insurance Claim
A man went on a ski trip, and was knocked unconscious by the chair lift. He called his insurance company from the hospital, but it refused to cover his injury.
“Why is the injury not covered?” he asked.
“You got hit in the head by a chair lift,” the insurance rep said. “That makes you an idiot, and we consider that a pre- existing condition.”
Other Useless News
Here are the top five articles viewed by my 27,812 RSS feed, weekly email subscribers, and other followers over the past 30 days (excluding Black Coffee posts):
- 11 Retirement Savings Tips for 20-somethings (& Older Folks Too)
- A First Time Buyers’ Guide for Gold and Silver
- The Best and Worst Home Renovations for Maximizing Return on Investment
- Be Careful Priceline Users: Name the Wrong Price and You May Go to Jail
- Dirty Harry Teaches Us a Lesson About Opportunity Cost
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Letters, I Get Letters
Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment assuming I get one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not! You can reach out to me at: Len@LenPenzo.com
Andrea wanted to inform me of a headline error for an article I wrote earlier this week:
Hi Len! Your post on ‘22 things you can haggle for‘ seems to be one short. I only counted 21!
Karen caught it too:
P.S. – Your post has 21 items, not 22.
Well … I’ve got three words for you ladies: count again!
If you enjoyed this, please forward it to your friends and family. I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.
Photo Credit: brendan-c