This Week at 30,000 Feet

A few days ago I wrote in a post called Rocky Mountain High, that I was headed out to Denver to visit family. From our Florida home, Denver, Colorado is a 3.5 hour flight. With our 14 month old son along, that means 3.5 hours of entertaining a very active little boy… a very confined space. Fortunately my wife is an amazing mom, and she was able to get the Little Man to sleep for about an hour and a half. During that flight I took the opportunity to talk with passengers seated nearby. (Truth be told, I am THAT guy…..and annoy my wife by striking up a conversation with just about anyone.)

Anyway, seated next to me was a mid 30s mechanical engineer from central Illinois. With my background in Civil Engineering, and being about the same age, we struck up a great conversation. My wife always says that if you listen closely to someone, their story can’t help but emerge. By story I mean the events that shaped their life, their struggles, their hopes/dreams, etc. In my experience this is absolutely true. Continue reading

Rocky Mountain High


My family and I are taking a brief respite in Colorado. We’ll be spending the next several days around Denver, Broomfield, and Boulder. Of course, any readers who have been to Denver know that the scenery doesn’t look anything like the picture above. The eastern section of Colorado is a high desert. You only begin to meet moisture and mountains as you travel west of Denver or Colorado Springs. As regular readers know, I love traveling. I’ve always felt that new places and people have a lot to teach me, so I travel WHENEVER I can. On this trip I’ll see some family, meet up with a couple financial bloggers……and get a crash course on mixed use urban planning that actually works! (I’m staying in the Capital Hill Neighborhood for the next couple days.) By the way, if you’re going to be near Tampa, Florida…..or want to meet up when I’m out your way…….just drop me a line. Continue reading

Updated Outlook for General Mills

The stock portion of my portfolio is divided between dividend growth stocks and deep value “Cigar Butt” stocks. Clearly General Mills (GIS) is on the dividend growth side of things, and I have owned it for several years now. So far I have been reasonably happy with the investment, but I like to take a look at the outlook for each of my holdings every 6 months. My most recent purchase of General Mills stock was on February 6th, 2014 at about $47. This consumer staples behemoth produces and sells everything from cereals and yogurt, to frozen pizza and dessert mixes. From its Minneapolis, Minnesota headquarters General Mills sells and distributes its brands around the US and internationally. The company has a multi decade history of steadily providing value to shareholders as well as raising its dividend. Now let’s take a look at the company’s outlook.

The Struggles

As I discussed early last year another Seeking Alpha article (These Consumer Staples Companies are Getting Squeezed) the whole consumer staples sector was facing a myriad of headwinds. While the agricultural input cost pressures have moderated somewhat, other struggles have been persistent. The last two quarterly results from General Mills reported have been somewhat………..

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