Travel Update- Wisconsin

IMG_2039We are nearing the end of our extended road trip now. We arrived in Omaha yesterday, just in time for the tornado sirens to be screaming and a hail storm. Oh boy, it must be spring in the midwest! After spending an hour in the basement, because the radio claimed there was a confirmed tornado on the ground less than a mile away, we emerged and began to unpack. I didn’t hear any more reports about that tornado, so I’m guessing it was a false positive. Better safe than sorry though, when you’re talking about something as deadly as a tornado.

After eight full weeks on the road, and 5,000 plus miles covered, I am beginning to morn the end of this trip. Mrs. IS and the Little Man are beginning to look forward to being home however :) We have explored some great parts of the US and seen many, many amazing friends. Over the next week, we are wrapping the trip up with our time in Omaha…..visiting the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting. I’ve looked forward to attending this meeting for a few years, and really hope I haven’t built it up too much in my mind. Time will tell I suppose :/ Continue reading

Chevron: Burning Through Cash

This post comes to you from the wild and wonderful state of Wisconsin.  We will be making our way down to Omaha in the coming days, in order to attend the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting.  Attending this meeting, while Buffett and Munger are still at the helm, has been a personal goal of mine.  I am excited that we will be there, and look forward to seeing so many readers/bloggers/investors at the scheduled meetups in town!  Here’s to networking and sharing some great investing ideas in Omaha.  Today’s post is a follow up to a post from last week about three companies you won’t find in our portfolio.  I thought I needed to share some additional thoughts about Chevron.  Later this week we will have a travel update from our time in Wisconsin.  So, without further ado……my thoughts on Chevron’s troubles.

Chevron has a big problem. It’s burning cash at an astounding rate. Chevrons cash flow has declined substantially over the past two years, as the price of a barrel of oil has declined. Look at Chevron’s net income and cash flow plummet in the Gurufocus chart below. Management has been forced to make substantial cuts to planned capital expenditures, take on additional debt, and sell off assets in an effort to keep the company afloat. I recently sold all of my Chevron shares, because I believe the company is headed down a dangerous path. The company’s characteristics aren’t good enough to qualify it as one of my long term holdings, and my investment thesis for the company was busted.

Continue reading

Not In Our Portfolio!

IMG_0649We are still on this amazing road trip, spending this week up in Wisconsin. Through a combination of intentional spending, living below our means, and consistent investing we have been able to spend these past months on the road as a family. It has been a wonderful experience, except perhaps that we have followed the emergence of pollen north, and this experience would have been impossible for me to replicate if I hadn’t left my day job. Quitting that government job at 34, without another lined up, may have seemed like an odd move to some. Heck, I still don’t have one three months later. It was the right move for us.

All the time on the road has had several excellent side effects. In addition to the abundant family time and joy I feel for travel, the past three months have provided me a great deal of time to think. I am a person who loves to think. I enjoy making observations, developing theories, and testing ideas. Sure, I had some time to do so while sitting in my office…..but my distractions at the office were both belligerent and numerous. I tend to be a fairly distractable person anyway, so trying to multitask while running a 34 person engineering department was not effective.

So what have I been thinking about while hiking with our Black Lab or watching the Little Man play at the park? Lots of things honestly. Upcoming travel ideas. Ways to make our lives even more sustainable and satisfying. And investment ideas of course! You’re probably most interested in the stock investing ideas, and that’s exactly what I’m writing about today. Continue reading